Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Vodafone and Verizon Communications and the largest U.S. wireless operator, and Vodafone, the world’s largest wireless operator, said the linkup would begin early next year.
Initially, Verizon customers in the United States and Vodafone customers in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Great Britain will be able to message each other.
Verizon’s network runs on a standard called CDMA, while Vodafone’s networks use the GSM standard. The two sides said a U.S. company called InphoMatch would handle conversion of the messages between networks. Verizon said in testing, conversion and delivery happen “within seconds.”
Text messaging, so commonplace throughout Europe that it has given rise to the word “texting” for sending such messages, has begun to catch on in the United States as carriers such as Verizon roll out phones with more advanced features.