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Update: Verizon to support Android

CEO's comments add to open-access news from last week

December 4, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said in an interview that his company will support Google Inc.'s Android wireless software just days after separately announcing an open-access initiative for the carrier.

"We're planning on using Android," McAdam told BusinessWeek in an article posted yesterday. "Android is an enabler of what we do."

McAdam said in the interview that Verizon wanted to check out the platform and did not see the need to join the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) when it was created. The alliance is led by Google Inc. and is the industry group behind Android.

McAdam didn't specify how Verizon Wireless would show its support for Android, but presumably a newly open-device/open-application network would allow an Android device or application to run over it next year.

A Verizon spokeswoman elaborated slightly on McAdam's comments, saying the carrier expects some developers to embrace Android in creating new open devices and applications. But she said that Verizon has not decided whether to use Android in any devices that it offers to users. The carrier also has not decided whether to join the OHA, she added.

When Verizon announced its open approach last week, many analysts signaled it as a major turnaround for the industry, especially given Verizon's strong opposition to open-access rules in the upcoming 700-MHz spectrum auction coming next month. But some were skeptical, including Gartner Inc. analyst Phillip Redman, who called Verizon's news last week "posturing" that would presumably appease the Federal Communications Commission as it tries to promote more openness.

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