Sunday, July 22, 2007

their inherited birthright, your intrinsic loss

When Mobile Phones Aren’t Truly Mobile - New York Times -- I'm still wondering how Verizon can disallow use of VoIP over EV-DO broadband, to protect their cellphone franchise. We're starting to realize that these guys are actually proprietary and anti-competitive; they're bad for business and get in the way of progress, as they tend to their self-interests first, and to those of the customer someplace after that. Remember, their first duty is to the company and its shareholders; the customer is a target of opportunity. There are interesting comments in this article from Massachusetts' Ed Markey.

WIRELESS carriers in the United States are spiritual descendants of dear Ma Bell: they view total control over customers as their inherited birthright.

The younger generation — Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and the namesake child AT&T — would make their hallowed matriarch proud. They do everything they can to keep power firmly in their own hands. It is entirely at the carriers’ discretion to permit, or disable, the features that a factory loads into the newest phones. They also decide which software can be installed and how it may be used. Many wireless subscribers have ruefully become acquainted with gotcha clauses in their contracts. (more)

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