Sierra Wireless intros USB 598 modem through Verizon's open network initiative

Generally when you think of a CDMA data card -- well, any data card, for that matter -- you think of a branded product that you purchase through your carrier at some seemingly random price that lies somewhere between "free" and "too much" after you've agreed to spend the next two years of your life dealing with 5GB caps, bankruptcy-inducing global roaming charges, and the occasional ill-timed failure during a liveblog (okay, maybe that last part is just us). Verizon promised great things through the opening of its network to all comers, though, and Sierra Wireless is taking full advantage with the introduction of its USB 598 stick fully certified for use on Verizon's spectrum. Because the device isn't offered through Verizon, you're welcome to purchase it through any number of retailers (including Sierra Wireless' own online store) without having a single contract document presented to you, and when you get it activated, you'll be enjoying EV-DO Rev. A speeds just like everybody else. It retails for $199 -- just remember not to bother looking for it in your local Big Red shop.