Earlier this week, Verizon announced that it has reached deals with computer manufacturers Dell, Lenovo and HP to offer its 3G wireless technology as an integrated option in laptop computers. Using EV-DO technology, Verizon is currently offering its BroadbandAccess service in 60 markets across the U.S., including its recent launch in San Francisco, where the mayor has designs of a municipal Wi-Fi network. This move comes shortly after announcing a 25% price cut for BroadbandAccess last month. Verizon, along with other cellular providers Sprint and Cingular, are ramping up their deployment of 3G wireless broadband networks.
Verizon is hoping that its deal with leading laptop makers will spur adoption of the new wireless technology, similarly to how Intel's integration of Wi-Fi in its chipsets made that the prevalent wireless technology of the day. The growth of 3G service offerings, coupled with the falling costs of service plans could instigate a shift from Wi-Fi as the wireless technology du jour as EV-DO and other 3G standards offer better range and connectivity than Wi-Fi, while offering speeds that are currently superior to dial-up.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) that Verizon is on the verge of becoming the first telephone provider to offer television service, with an expected launch date of as early as this week. A move that would allow telecos to offer a triple play of options (voice, data and video) to subscribers, the entry of Verizon and other providers into the television business would start a potential price war with cable companies, many of which already offer triple play.