When Apple launched the iPhone, hundreds of thousands of people ran right out so they could be among the first to own one. A good number of them then started complaining that they’d like the iPhone a whole lot better if they could choose their own carrier, instead of being tied to AT&T for two years.
This seemed to prompt Verizon Wireless and others to promise open access, meaning that they’d let customers bring pretty much whatever phone and applications they want when they sign up for carrier service instead of being limited to the goods the carrier offers directly.
For a higher fee, of course. And, because of Apple’s love for exclusivity, no iPhone, either.
We came across a PCWorld.com story, “Will Carriers Deliver on Pledge of Open Access,” that discusses this very subject. The article cites FCC Commissioner Michael Copps as saying that both regulators and customers will need to keep a close eye on the carriers to make sure they keep their open access promises and don’t gouge their customers in the process.
This open access would also allow consumers to take their phone with them when they switched carriers, instead of having to buy one of the new carrier’s proprietary phones.