AT&T Does Nothing, Convinces Reporter It Has Now 'Opened' Its Network

from the nice-trick dept

When Verizon Wireless announced last month its plans to "open" its network some people noticed very quickly that what Verizon Wireless was announcing didn't sound any different from what GSM operators, like AT&T and T-Mobile already had. It was just that the GSM operators hadn't come up with the PR gimmick to call it "open." Since they already had it though, it didn't take a genius to figure out that it wouldn't be long before they declared their networks open as well. And, that appears to be exactly what AT&T is doing -- but somehow, it appears that AT&T's marketers have convinced a USA Today reporter that it's somehow changed its policies and is "flinging" its network "wide open." The article starts off breathlessly announcing that "starting immediately" people can use any device on AT&T's network. Of course, the reason it's "starting immediately" is because, um, you've been able to do that ever since they launched their GSM network years ago. Basically, absolutely nothing happened here except that AT&T's marketing crew declared that AT&T's network is now open, and convinced USA Today to report it as if it were a big deal. If there was any change at all within AT&T, it's that retail store employees are now supposed to admit that you can use other devices on the network, rather than pretending you can't. Not quite as exciting as "flinging the network open," though.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    DooDoo, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    Opening What???

    WOW! I cant wait to try out my T-mobile phone on AT&T's network...... I bet it's great, and now with the added openness, we will can all be free..........

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 8:46am

      Re: Opening What???

      ... sigh. You still need an AT&T sim, but the T-Mobile phone will work just fine once you get one.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    JM, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 8:59am

    Open?

    What does it mean that the networks have been open for years?
    I'm thinking old-school cell phones have been able to "roam" out of area for years; are they talking about "roaming" on someone elses network? If that's the case then networks have been open for at least 20 years.

     

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    identicon
    marka2k, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 9:02am

    Open as in you can use any unlocked GSM phone that supports 850/1900 on the ATT Network with a ATT SIM, the fact is you could have done that when ATT switched to GSM years ago they are just now Advertising the fact.

     

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    identicon
    Admiral, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 10:00am

    wow...

    ...so for the past two years that I have been using my Nokia N80 on the att network I was not free? who would have thunk it!

     

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    identicon
    Eddie-D, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 10:44am

    SIM Card Invalid

    Why is it that when I put the SIM card from ATT on a Tmobile Pearl it says invalid Sim card. Anyone? Your help is appreciate it!

     

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    identicon
    Michelle, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 10:50am

    Why is it that when I put the SIM card from ATT on a Tmobile Pearl it says invalid Sim card. Anyone? Your help is appreciate it!

    You have to unlock it first, silly.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Eddie-D, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 10:53am

      Re:

      Im technically challenged as you can tell..
      How do I unlock it?

       

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        identicon
        Brian, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re:

        ...and that's how "open" the network is. Even the most backward countries in the world (and I've been to alot of them) are more open--buy any GSM phone you want and put any GSM network card in that you want. No F'ing hardware/software locks.

         

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        identicon
        Tom, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re:

        you can try googling for how to unlock t-mobile blackberry pearl...this is what it will ultimately take for a locked t-mobile device to be released from t-mobile's hold.

        as an alternative, you can buy an already unlocked phone from online retailers / ebay and just pop in your att sim card.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Rick, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 11:34am

        Re: How do I unlock it?

        A hammer works...

         

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        identicon
        TnLA, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 11:40am

        Re: T-Mobile Pearl - Unlock Code

        Call T-Mobile's Customer Service and ask them for the unlock code. As long as you've been a cusotmer in good standing for 3 mos, T-Mobile will give you the code for FREE. If you get it anywhere else, you can be charged.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Eddie-D, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 12:12pm

          Re: Re: T-Mobile Pearl - Unlock Code

          what is i no longer have the service with Tmobile but i still have the phone? I cant call them right?

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Z, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 11:52am

    Are you accurately representing this article?

    I just read the article you linked to, and it's quite clear that both the writer and AT&T are saying that this has been the case for years and they are simply starting to advertise the fact better. Yes, the headline is misleading - I'm calling USA Today or AT&T paragons of virtue, but c'mon.

    Did they change the article after your link? Or are you just completely misrepresenting what you read to make this post sound more exciting? This happens every time - do you just rely on your readers not going to the source?

    Lord, I NEED to stop reading your crappy, one-sided commentary. Techdirt is going off my news feed.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 12:17pm

    Sim locks are not the network, and blaming AT&T when T-Mobile locks their phones doesn't make much sense.

    Both AT&T and T-Mobile will give unlock codes to customers in good standing (I believe AT&T requires you to have an international roaming feature on the account, but you don't have to keep it).

    And this isn't exclusive to the US. Softbank HTC phones (Japan) are sold locked. I don't have more examples, but it only takes one to prove that the US carriers aren't the only ones.

     

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    identicon
    Overcast, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 12:38pm

    Oh wow, I'm so very thrilled. This is great.

    *yawn*

    Who cares? Just get an iPhone and you'll be FORCED to use AT&T, then life will be wonderful.

     

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    identicon
    Dave, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    This is *great*! Now that AT&T is totally open I can buy an iPhone without a 2-year contract commitment!

    Oh, the "openness" doesn't apply to iPhone. How *convenient*.

     

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    identicon
    tim, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 1:44pm

    I don't get it

    I don't get it. I've been on Cingular's (now AT&T) network for years. I have never bought a phone through Cingular or AT&T. My last three phones I bought off the internet (I have a habit of losing them) and when I need a new simm card, I walk up to a cingular store, ask for a card, and they give one to me no charge. I than call in to activate it under my account. So I am failing to see what the controversy is here.

    @Overcast
    You can get an iPhone without the two year commitment but that would require you to actually know something wouldn't it?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Shun, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 1:50pm

    Where's the third-party support?

    Hey does that mean I can use one of these:

    greenphone

    Hmm...I wanted to build a custom tube-amplified beast, so that I could jam out to my phone when I wasn't calling. Oh well, this looks more compact.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Mau, Dec 6th, 2007 @ 4:02pm

    to Ed

    Why why why in the world would you want to go to AT&T from T-Mobile??

    The only acceptable reason is: you love the iPhone so much and you don't want to hack it.

    Other than that... I don't get it.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2007 @ 7:37am

      Re: to Ed

      Why why why in the world would you want to go to AT&T from T-Mobile??
      Maybe you want to use your phone away from the interstate.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Dossy Shiobara, Dec 7th, 2007 @ 5:53am

    AT&T still raping us with excessive data charges

    AT&T may now claim to be "open" but they're still raping us with excessive data use rates. My "unlimited" PDA Connect plan still costs $40/mo--but the MediaNet is like $9/mo. It's the SAME service, technically. WTF?

     

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    identicon
    Steven Hoober, Dec 7th, 2007 @ 2:08pm

    So, does that mean if I call in to ATT /this week/ to ask for the unlock code for my N75 they will give it to me instead of bitching and moaning and trying to sell me an international roaming plan?

    I'll bet not.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Marg Burnette, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    Iphone Clones

    I want to purchase a china brand Iphone clone. It is contains all the bells and whistle e.g. Camera 1.3 Pixel, TV, MP3, MP4, Handsfree, SMS group sending, Voice recorder, WAP, Handwritten input, Bluetooth,FM, dual card with dual standby,GPRS download, Infrared interface, MMS, Smart phone, Memory extended, E-book, incoming call firewall, Windows6.0 PPC system, standard USB interface, hardware hot boot, Touch FLO dynamic operation, memory card encryption. Has anybody out there tried using one before. The price is great and they appear to do everything that the expensive famous ATT type phones will do. I thanx you for your expertise.

     

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