Verizon & Vodafone

3:30 PM -- Verizon Wireless has teamed up with its part-owner, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), to create a global services group that it is promising will serve its business customers' needs the world over. (See VOD, Verizon Team Up.)

Verizon and Vodafone say the new organization will allow large business customers to have a single point of contact the world over as well as offering consistent product pricing and services for international accounts.

Given that Verizon Wireless is a long-standing joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone, one might wonder why this global services team is just being created now. One reason might be because it was near-impossible to roam between Vodafone's GSM networks and Verizon's CDMA infrastructure until recently.

So-called "worldphones" -- mobile handsets that move between CDMA and GSM networks -- have tended to be rare and expensive in the past. Not a good combination for multinationals looking to roll out a fleet of standardized phones to its workers.

Things have started to open up for Verizon recently, however. Most notably with the launch of the $199 BlackBerry BlackBerry worldphone, which gives business users a familar voice and email device that can be used in many parts of the globe.

This is why a focus on global services starts to make sense for the carriers right about now.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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