This announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show from US mobile network Verizon is good news for ebooks. Verizon expects to use its network as early as 2009 for wireless downloads of ebooks and newspapers and is actively encouraging manufacturers of ebook readers to get their gadgets certified for connection to the Verizon network.
According to Verizon executive Tony Lewis, “Competitors to the Kindle
are already out there [and] in 2009 I’d expect them to come to the
market.” Lewis cites the success of Amazon’s Kindle, which in the US offers mobile wireless access, as the reason his company is keen on this market.
This rationale points to other cellphone networks, such as Vodafone, having the potential to accelerate ebook adoption by selling the readers and providing publishers and ebook retailers with access to their customers and billing systems.