Anyone who follows telecom probably has heard of the Verizon Wireless announcement by now – about opening up its network to any compatible CDMA device assuming it passes a certification test which will involve a “nominal cost”.

And the effects of Google’s Android and open handset alliance is already manifesting itself – Verizon kicked it off and I predict that Sprint and ATT will follow. Sprint is already a member of the Open Handset Alliance. ATT has held off till now – especially since its interest is vested with Apple’s iPhone based platform (which is far from open) – but the direction of the telecom network and the industry as a whole is towards standards based openness and ATT will have to jump in – sooner or later.

As I posted earlier, this is directionally similar to the way the traditional wireline industry opened up. After all in the 1960’s pre-divestiture period, ATT prevented home users to attach any landline phone not manufactured by ATT, ostensibly in the interest of “protecting” the network. And that was the tack that all wireless companies essentially used – protection of the network – and milking their users to pay to use anything on the network that they had already paid in the first place to use. An analogy would be Comcast charging the exorbitant  USD 79 they charge for a month of cable internet – and on top charging a surcharge to use MapQuest.

Its a step in the right direction. Now only if they soup up their EVDO network, I’ll jump ship from Sprint anyday (and take my Sprint Treo 700p with me)

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