Telefonica, Verizon soon to offer virtualized Android phones

Telefonica will offer Samsung phones and Verizon will sell LG phones that use VMware's Android hypervisor

Telefonica and Verizon in a few months will become the first operators to offer Android phones running VMware's mobile hypervisor, the companies announced Wednesday at the VMworld 2011 Europe conference in Copenhagen.

VMware has previously said that Verizon would offer the service, without disclosing details about timing, but this is the first time Telefonica has said it plans to offer phones with the hypervisor.

Users of phones with the VMware product will find two profiles on their devices: one for personal use and one for business use. The setup allows for the isolation of enterprise apps from apps available on the open Android Market that could be malicious.

The operators will be making slightly different offerings, said Steve Herrod, chief technology officer for VMware.

Telefonica will make its offering available initially on the Samsung Galaxy SII. Unlike Verizon, Telefonica will allow users to have two phone numbers, one for business and one for personal use. That means a user will be able to have two voice and data subscriptions on one phone.

Telefonica is able to make that offering using dual-SIM cards. Such a setup would be more difficult for Verizon, which will only allow one phone number on its service, because of its network technology.

IT managers will be able to remotely control the business side of the phone using software from VMware. That software lets administrators remotely wipe just the corporate applications and data, push applications to the phones and set policies for the corporate profile. Telefonica will offer the IT management features as a hosted service.

Verizon will instead offer that software to enterprises to run from inside their firewalls, Herrod said.

Verizon's offer will initially be available on LG phones. Phone makers must build part of the necessary software into the phones before they hit shelves, meaning the selection of compatible phones initially is likely to be small. LG and Samsung are the only two manufacturers to have announced their support of VMware's technology.

Neither operator is announcing specific launch dates or pricing but say the service will be available in the coming months.

VMware first started talking about its mobile hypervisor late last year. Interest in the concept of separating business applications from personal, particularly for Android phones, appears to be growing.

Last week, AT&T launched a service called Toggle that allows users to separate work applications from personal applications on Android phones. It's based on technology from Enterproid, which is different from VMware's in that applications must be built using Enterproid's technology in order to be separated from the rest of the phone.

OK Labs is pushing a similar concept for isolating certain applications. Last week, Red Bend started talking about its own virtualization technology, which would work similarly to VMware's, but it hasn't announced phone or operator partners yet.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileVMwareAndroidtelecommunicationvirtualizationVerizon WirelessSamsung ElectronicsMobile OSesLG ElectronicsTelefónicaSteve Herrod

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?