Verizon (NYSE: VZ) Wireless had been the one most vocal in its opposition about opening up the spectrum, but has since changed its tactics. In an interview with MercuryNews, CEO Lowell McAdam now seems to be in favor of handset portability, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) buying spectrum, and others.
On an open ecosystem, he says: “If you look at the example of our content, when we first opened up, we had a completely walled garden. We have been bringing that wall down and opening up more applications. The balance is you have to keep the customer in the equation. It’s not just up to the Microsofts or the Intels or the carriers to make the decision. I carry a BlackBerry 8830. That device is one of the most closed devices on the market today. It’s also one of the most popular. Customers can rely on it. Return rates are single digits, 1 to 3 percent. You can put anything you want on some open smart-phones. What would you guess are the return rates on a comparable device to the BlackBerry, with open applications?..Over 40 percent. You can’t predict how applications are going to interact in the real world. It sounds really good. How can a developer of a device predict how those applications are going to interact in the real world? It’s back to the fact that they’re complicated computers and it’s not always predictable.”
On Google: “I think they ought to buy spectrum and build a network. It will bring innovation to the market place. More investment will come.”