by Mike Masnick
Thu, Dec 6th 2007 8:16am
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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