Linked by snydeq on Wed 6th Jan 2010 20:08 UTC
Google InfoWorld's Galen Gruman writes that the main potential game-changing attribute of the Nexus One - that Google is selling the device direct - does nothing to move the industry past carrier lock-in. "At first, I wanted to credit Google for making a tentative step in the direction of smartphone freedom. But that step is so tentative and ineffectual that frankly I think it's a cynical fig leaf covering the usual practices," Gruman writes. At issue is a political battle regarding walled gardens in the U.S. cellular market, a fight that will take years to result in any true consumer freedom. "The only way we'll ever get the ability to choose a smartphone and carrier independently is for the platform providers that count - Apple, Google, and RIM - to first develop only multiband 'world' smartphones and then refuse to sell their devices (or in Google's case, use its Android license to forbid the sale of devices) to carriers that block or interfere with device portability."
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RE[2]: The title says it all...
by darknexus on Wed 6th Jan 2010 21:27 UTC in reply to "RE: The title says it all..."
Member since:

Better idea: Screw this carrier model and just put up Wifi everywhere. Then you pick your choice of VOIP provider (Skype, SipPhone, etc) and you can go anywhere and use it anywhere there is Wifi. Obviously there would have to be an additional location-based part added to facilitate 911, but that's not exactly difficult. The problem, in addition to locking, is that carriers here in the states have their regions where they're good and regions where they're bad, and no carrier you go with is going to cover everywhere. T-Mobile is really good in the west while AT&T and Verizon are all over the east, with Sprint having a good spot in San Francisco and a few other places. If you get T-mobile and have to go to the eastern U.S, e.g. Ohio or Pennsylvania, you're screwed. If you get AT&T and have to go to a remote part of Arizona, you're screwed. What we need is nation-wide Wifi plus VOIP. Of course, the carriers'll never let that happen, but I can dream can't I?

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tuishimi Member since:

No, you can't dream those dreams. They are anti-capitalist. ;) Next you'll want peace on Earth and everyone fed and clothed.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Laurence Member since:

No, you can't dream those dreams. They are anti-capitalist. ;)

Not necessarily.
VoIP providers could start charging for WiFi calls (they'd have to if just to maintain the WiFi infrastructure and pay for the bandwidth) and calls to non-VoIP numbers such as home land lines, offices and call centres would still cost money.

There is definitely a potential industry there but it would require such a drastic change in infrastructure, user handsets and business models that I can't see it ever being pushed forward.

Reply Parent Score: 2

computeruser Member since:

802.11 isn't very good for wide area cellular networks. It uses too much power while having a short range, isn't good at handoffs, has limited non-overlapping channels, etc. Fixing 802.11 to solve these issues would result in a standard that looks very much like a modern cellular network or perhaps a near-future one (LTE).

Plus, 802.11 networks cost money - access points, wiring, installation, electricity, and network connectivity.

Reply Parent Score: 1

darknexus Member since:

Actually, I was using Wifi as a generic term, not specifically meaning 802.11. My fault there, but by the time I realized my error I couldn't edit. Anyway, we wouldn't necessarily need to change network types but we would have to ditch the current carrier-based model, settle on which protocol to use, and get it going. The carriers should be reduced to providing call services, not the infrastructure as they've proven that, at least here, they cannot provide all-around coverage despite their claims to the contrary. Like I said, a guy can dream.

Reply Parent Score: 3