AT&T Network Is Open? Well, Isn’t That GSM?

This takes the cake for the strangest story ever: USAT has a story which says that AT&T (NYSE: T) is throwing open its network to any device player, “starting immediately”. Well, it is a GSM network, and anyone with an AT&T SIM can use any GSM-enabled on an unlocked phone on the network, which means tons of Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and other handset companies’ phones. “And they don’t have to sign a contract” part: well, they don’t need to sign a contract to move from an AT&T- mandated handset to another handset while still on the network, do they? I don’t get it…what’s the story about, and what is Ralph de la Vega trying to get across?

The story says AT&T sales reps at the stores will make sure that consumers “know all their options” before making a final purchase, but Vega won’t say whether AT&T plans to launch a marketing campaign to push “open” platforms, but allows that might be a possibility. Confused? Well, I am.

One thing I can guess: they’re trying to say that Verizon’s (NYSE: VZ) marketing message about how it is becoming open and how that is novel, is not, and AT&T and T-Mobile USA, both running on GSM networks, are way more open as a result. But has the journalist never covered the mobile industry before to buy all this PR?


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