Just got this off of MobilitySite this morning. Looks like there’s a lot of publicity around carriers in the US determining what phones their customers will have. Whereas in Europe, phones are pretty much interchangeable throughout the different mobile provider networks.
When will the US Mobile market get a clue? Hopefully soon!
Its official title is “Wireless Innovation and Consumer Protection,” but “Really, they’re the iPhone hearings,” says public interest lobbyist Ben Scott. The House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet is expected to consider the future of cellphone and wireless data communications, including the “unbundling” of cellphones from their carriers, while activists are pushing for a new wireless data network in newly-available spectrum. Both developments could ultimately affect AT&T’s exclusive carrier status with Apple.
Wireless carriers find their phone and internet services facing new scrutiny after AT&T’s exclusive carrier deal with Apple’s iPhone. “Congress doesn’t need to run a hearing on whether the iPhone is the coolest, shiniest gadget on the market.” says Scott. “The reason they’re having a hearing is because the iPhone.is going to set the mold. This device and how it’s treated by the Congress and the regulators in Washington is going to determine how we access the internet from now on with every device that follows in the iPhone’s footsteps.”
Markey set the tone for the debate, telling The Street that “the more portable these devices are, the more innovation we’ll see.”
Also, another post from MobilitySite:
David Berlind, executive editor at ZDNet asked that question in his blog today.
Customer choice is apparently out the window these days when it comes to picking a cell phone. Imagine for example, if when you purchased a car, it was only allowed on certain roads. You’d have to figure out which roads you most travel, and then buy a car based on which one was allowed on most of those roads. Would you tolerate this?
When there were a lot of complaints that the iPhone is only available for one of AT&T’s two networks (reminder: the slower of the two), I thought “normal.” Business as usual. When I realized the phones Microsoft was offering to me for testing only worked on certain networks, I thought “normal.” Today, while I was at the Samsung gadget fest in NYC and saw an array of phones, most of which were carrier-specific, I thought “normal.” But then I wondered, why are we letting them (the proverbial “them”) define normal. Or maybe it’s me. How did I come to blindly accept this status quo? This isn’t normal. This is anti-consumer choice. Maybe the network over there isn’t the best. But in Europe, at least you can easily interchange phones and providers without finding out that you have to give up on owning the one handset you’ve had your eyes on for six months.
Go watch the video here (a good rant and worth watching)
Maybe they’ll get the picture soon?