Verizon Wireless said on Tuesday it will provide unrestricted access on its network to devices and applications from any company.
Presently, customers must use phones rigorously customized by Verizon. The policy shift will only require device makers to follow a set of yet-to-be released minimum standards early next year. Verizon will continue to sell phones it helps develop.
We will allow customers to connect any device that meets our minimum technical standards, and be activated on our network, said Verizon Chief Executive Lowell McAdam said in a conference call.
Calls for greater accessibility in device choices have been increasing. The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the wireless spectrum that cell phone companies use will be auctioning off a portion of that spectrum with the requirement that the company that wins must follow certain open access requirements.
McAdam said the change comes as increasing numbers of customers request such a service.
To keep up with the pace of innovation in the development community, and get ahead of customers' needs, we've decided to encourage the development of new devices and applications by further opening our network, he added.
Pricing details were not made available, but the company did say data charges will be based on usage.