If the iPhone is really no longer an AT&T exclusive in the new year as many analysts are now suggesting and/or predicting, at least one carrier doesn’t want to get caught with its pants down. Verizon Wireless says it has made the changes it would need to make to its network in order to handle what would obviously be a new surge in data traffic.
Better to be safe than sorry, I guess?
Quite a surprising statement considering the company is spending quite a bit of money putting down Apple in its “Droid Does” ads that we’ve all been getting peppered with for the past two months plus. But in a way it’s not because Verizon has watched as AT&T’s network problems have become a serious liability to the company, “Operation Chokehold” notwithstanding.
“Absolutely, I think we could handle it,” Verizon Wireless CTO Anthony Melone told BusinessWeek in an interview. Now, lets not get the story twisted here: Melone is not saying there is any deal yet, but its pretty much common knowledge that the two sides have at least discussed possible partnerships in the past.
Verizon has gone the opposite way of AT&T over the past several years in investing in network infrastructure, spending about $19 billion on the network itself over the past three years. As Gizmodo points out, AT&T’s spending since the iPhone launch on the network itself has actually decreased.
With Verizon readily talking about it’s iPhone readiness, I wonder if T-Mobile USA will start making overtures as well. The carrier has been mentioned much more often recently as a logical next carrier for the device, as it would take minimal changes (adding TMUS’ 1700MHz band to the 3G chip of the iPhone) for it to work.
Going to Verizon — and CDMA — requires a much more involved rework of the device. Going to be an interesting 2010 in iPhoneland, that’s for sure.