oberta Mackintosh, Verizon’s director of international products, said that after announcing the ability for business travellers to connect with laptops to their corporate networks over an EV-DO cellular link in the US, Verizon Business is about to add a similar capability in the GSM world. This means all of Europe, where the GSM radio access mode was made mandatory by the EU.
Enterprise Mobility enables connectivity via WiFi, DSL or dial-up connection by means of a client installed on the user’s laptop, with the charge for usage being made to a central corporate bill rather than on the spot at the time of the connection.
For WiFi connectivity globally, Verizon uses hotspot aggregator Boingo, and now it is adding cellular connectivity.
In April we will add GPRS and UMTS [i.e. W-CDMA] for our corporate customers in the UK, with international roaming, she revealed, declining however to disclose the name of the GSM operator with which the arrangement will be made.
She did say, however, that the deal would not involve Verizon becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
All of which suggests that the most likely candidate is Vodafone Group Plc, which is also, for the moment, Verizon’s partner in Verizon Wireless, the US cellular operator whose CDMA network, now at the EV-DO stage of evolution, underscores Enterprise Mobility’s cellular access in the States.
UK-based Vodafone holds 45% of Verizon Wireless and is coming under intense pressure from its shareholders to sell to Verizon, which in turn has repeatedly expressed its interest in buying.
Still, that should not stand in the way of Verizon Comms cutting a deal with Vodafone to enable Enterprise Mobility customers to access its 3G network, both in the UK and other countries where it has a presence. Vodafone currently has 28 such properties, covering most of Western Europe as well as South Africa and India.