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.

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Companies: at&t, verizon wireless

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Comments on “AT&T Does Nothing, Convinces Reporter It Has Now 'Opened' Its Network”

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24 Comments
Z says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

tim says:

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?

Marg Burnette says:

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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