Wireless carriers in the United States work with major cellular manufacturers to exclude or disable certain functions on phones sold in North America.
The carriers thwart functions such as personal ring tones, photo sharing and Wi-Fi capability to push customers to the carrier’s fee-based services. They, in essence, hold you and your cell phone hostage while generating an enormous margin of profit via early termination fees.
As a result, U.S. consumers can do less with their cell phones than people in most other countries – and, we often pay more for similar services.
U.S. wireless carriers are unlikely to drop their lucrative strategies without a fight. So, it’s up to legislators and regulators to encourage a truly competitive cell phone market. One way they can do that is by enacting the wireless equivalent of the rules that have governed land-line phones since the 1960’s. These rules give consumers the right to attach any device they wish to their telephone network as long as it does no harm (maybe this is where Google got it’s “Do No Evil” and open-architecture philosophies from). This clearly led to innovations such as the facsimile (fax) machine and computer modems (which in facilitated the exponential growth of the internet).
Phone locking, long-term contracts with stiff early-termination fees, and hobbled handsets stymie competition and consumer choice. Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, thinks that U.S. cell phone users deserve the same advantages as consumers around the world.
Some good news…
AT&T announced last month that they will open their platform to any wireless device from any manufacturer and not require a contract (in some cases). It looks like Verizon is preparing to follow suit.
For more information, you can visit a watchdog group called Hear Us Now at their website at the following coordinates… www.hearusnow.org.
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork