Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel appeared before the International Trade Commission yesterday to ask the panel not to ban EVDO handsets as a remedy to the ongoing patent dispute between Qualcomm and Broadcom. Verizon Wireless attorney Mark Hansen said the two chipset rivals are using patent law to "club" each other. Verizon Wireless' marketing director Rosemary Garavaglia also pointed out that Blackberrys cost two to three times more than the regular EVDO handsets that would be excluded from the U.S. under the proposed ban, and other QWERTY alternatives are too complicated for most users, she argued.
Sprint Nextel representatives echoed Verizon Wireless' remarks and claimed that such a ban would cost the wireless industry millions or billions of dollars, raise cell phone prices for consumers and undermine public safety. Five public service agencies also appeared before the ITC and argued that the ban would deprive emergency personnel of devices that could transmit pictures and other data during an emergency and enable paramedics to reach a heart attack victim quicker.
For more on this ITC hearing:
- see this article from Copley News Service
- also read this FierceWireless feature, which covered Day 1 of the ITC hearing