Satellite and Cellular Marry: Verizon Screwed

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
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Satellite and Cellular Marry: Verizon Screwed

SkyTerra's Mobile Satellite Ventures, ICO Global Communications and Qualcomm have jointly announced they will work together to develop chips which will allow cell phones to rely on satellites when cellular networks are not available.

It will be a few years until we see the results of this collaboration and I imagine battery life will be an issue when communicating with satellites -- but if you put battery life aside, this agreement wreaks havoc on global cellular markets.

Why? Verizon decided years back to not carry the iPhone and one would imagine the superior Verizon network is one of the reasons they made this decision. They felt they didn't need to bow to the desires of Steve Jobs. They figured cutomers would not defect because they would not want to lose Verizon coverage. And of course they are partially right.

But, what happens if all cell phones can rely on WiFi, satellite and WiMax networks as backup networks? Well, the first thing that happens is Verizon Wireless now has almost no advantage and all networks become commoditized (except of course for wireless broadband speed) and their decision to not carry the iPhone now comes back to haunt them as I predicted in February of 2007.

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