Verizon and Vodafone stir the pot

Vodafone and Verizon are again in the news. I’ve posted a recent story to our message boards, and written about them previously in the context of the upcoming American 700 MHz auctions. (Full disclosure: I used to work for AirTouch, which was acquired by Vodafone, and for Arun Sarin, now CEO of Vodafone.) The recent news is about their difficulties getting along together and about the possibility that the dividend Verizon pays to Vodafone, as a major stockholder, might not be paid again until 2010 or later. Continue reading “Verizon and Vodafone stir the pot”

Google scores a victory for consumers

So today the American Federal Communications Commission decided to make the winner of the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auctions accept terminals and applications from 3rd-parties. This was at the suggestion of Google and others, and is excellent news for American consumers. It likely will lead to more handsets from which to choose and more innovative applications being available more quickly. Probably it also will mark the beginning of the end of the glory days for America’s incumbent mobile operators.

This ruling heralds much more difficult times for America’s coddled mobile operators. Handset choice and the ready access to innovative applications are not what they are known for. These will force them to change their current business models, which is likely to reduce their margins as well as their subscriber numbers. Their good times now have a hard stop.
Continue reading “Google scores a victory for consumers”