AT&T changes zilch; spontaneously becomes “most open” wireless network

December 6, 2007

AT&T changes zilch; spontaneously becomes “most open” wireless networkI’m willing to bet you didn’t know that, today, you can be everything you want to be without changing a thing. Skeptical? Don’t be…AT&T certainly knows how, as it miraculously is now the “most open” wireless network around. It must be that whole visualization, “If you think you are, then you are,” thing.

It isn’t just AT&T or its CEO Ralph de la Vega; apparently USA Today writer Leslie Cauley is on the same progressive bandwagon. Did you know that “starting immediately” you can use any handset you want on AT&T’s “open” network?

I have to say, I did. When Cauley and de la Vega say users can use any handset they choose “immediately,” they mean, “Sure, you’ve always been able to do that…but we’re telling you now, which means it is officially a landmark achievement.”

All the hype about Google’s Android platform, which will be used by many carriers once it is released, has people in this “openness” craze, mainly because until now, different providers used different phones with different platforms; now that one platform, Android, will be used widely, everyone is “open”-happy.

Does that mean AT&T is “flinging” its network wide open? No, Leslie…not really.

In regards to being able to use any cell phone, the same options and restrictions since AT&T became a cell phone carrier (and before) are available. If you do a search for unlocked GSM cell phones on eBay, you’ll find that users have been using phones from different providers by unlocking those handhelds for years.

If you want to talk about becoming open, find a way to merge GSM and CDMA technology to create the strongest and widest nationwide coverage. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Perhaps AT&T should stop trying to rework its slogan and image and go with what everyone already knows to be true: “We have the iPhone; enough said.”

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