AT&T has followed Verizon Wireless in opening up its cellular network, but the big announcement is much ado about nothing. AT&T is allowing customers to join on a month-to-month basis; existing customers will have to see out their contracts. Like Verizon, the telecom giant will allow any unlocked GSM phones to run on its network (as long as it supports AT&T's frequencies. Customers will also be able to choose any operating system-Windows Mobile, Symbian, Opera, Android, whatever.
Most of this information was revealed (or at least hinted at) when Google unveiled Android several weeks ago. The bigger issue is what the big telecoms actually mean when they say "open," because there's no uniform definition. It could mean open handsets, open networks, open applications, open operating systems, a combination of these or all of the above. In this case, no mention was made of AT&T opening its platform to software developers.
AT&T: Step off
AT&T, I don't care what you do, I don't trust you. All your prior actions indicate you only care about the bottom line.
Yes, you're a business, but what about making your consumers happy? What about creating a reasonable service with no hidden addendums or set backs? What about creating service offerings where everybody wins??
Well, that's never going to happen. However, at least it shows that AT&T is on the bandwagon. That means Verizon could do something crazy cool and AT&T will probably do it too.