AT&T: Hey, We Have an Open Network Policy Too!

Does this sound familiar? AT&T Inc. wants you to know that you can use any wireless device and any application on its mobile network.

The latest news in the open access free-for-all is actually not news, per se, but more of a reminder. Perhaps feeling pushed out of the limelight by press coverage of Verizon Wireless recent U-turn on open access, AT&T is now trumpeting the fact that its GSM network supports any device or application, and always has. In fact, many analysts last week noted that the furor over Verizons announcement failed to recognize that Verizon is just doing what AT&T has been allowing for years.

While AT&T offers a full slate of carrier-endorsed content and applications, users, it said, can download and use any software they wish. Its not something the company has championed in the past, but the capability was always there, thanks to the innate characteristics of the GSM standard itself. One exception is the iPhone, but Apple plans to make that device open to developers and users beginning in February, when it launches an SDK.

Unlike the case with arch-rival Verizon Wireless, an AT&T subscriber can buy an unlocked device and start using it today. Verizon, by virtue of its CDMA network, will have to implement a certification process for devices, so its open-access policy may not be fully operational for some months.

AT&T Inc.

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