It is a scenario rarely seen in todays technology market: Cellphone customers wander into any store, pick any device from a shelf, and connect it to any wireless network - one as open as the Internet.
But spurred by growing demand and a federal airwaves auction that closed last week, the major wireless carriers are stepping away from a model in which each cellphone is controlled by a single company that sells customers a device locked to their network, demands a lengthy contract, and limits the phones features.
[...] “We believe that as the two great megatrends of mobility and the Internet come together, the next wave of growth will come from a whole new generation of devices, applications, and services,” said Ivan Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon Communications Inc., which owns 55 percent of Verizon Wireless. “No single company - whether you’re a carrier, a manufacturer, a software company, or anybody else - will be able to envision all these uses or meet all the needs on their own.”
Not to be outdone, AT&T launched a website the day before the conference, emphasizing its open network.
We’ll see, won’t we?