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Verizon Wireless Opens Up

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1:15 PM -- Today's news that Verizon Wireless would offer open access to its 3G network is huge with a capital H. In the long run it is a far bigger development than all the frenzy about Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone this year, entertaining as that was.

What it does is blow open an entirely new mobile service model and sets the stage for the kind of innovation that has powered the Internet to greatness.

It's nothing less than "a whole new paradigm shift for the mobile industry," according to Lowell McAdam, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless speaking on today's media call

It's long been obvious that the mobile world can't innovate as fast at the Internet world. This is something Light Reading's editorial director, R. Scott Raynovich, has been arguing for some time over on Contentinople. (See Walled Gardens Are Crumbling.)

Verizon is such an influential carrier that we can excuse the fact it won't actually be open until November next year. And let's not get started on what exactly is meant by "open" and whether we'll be free to bring down the network with torrents of peer-to-peer traffic. It is also not the time for annoying Europeans to carp on about how this has been standard practice for years elsewhere in the world. So I won't embarrass myself with that.

What's great is that the doors are open. And once the big operators start offering flat rate data with genuine Internet access, there's no going back.

— Gabriel Brown, Chief Analyst, Unstrung Insider

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