Home > Mobility > Wouldn’t it Be Great if the Carriers Didn’t Call the Shots?

Wouldn’t it Be Great if the Carriers Didn’t Call the Shots?

the Google PhoneAccording to reports across the net this weekend, Google will soon release Nexus One smartphone, a pot luck device that you bring to your own carrier (device not tied to a contract). And while I have my concerns about Google domination (or Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, or anyone controlling an entire end to end experience), I’m watching this carefully.

As a business owner, I hate not having choices. I resent being beholden to cell phone carriers (in my case ATT), especially because of the limitations that they are likely to place on what device I can use on their network. Thought not confirmed, it seems that I would be able to use a Nexus One on ATT, or T-Mobile or any other GSM network, no hacking required. I’m liking that. And it’s not the Google specified HTC hardware I covet, it’s freedom.

This week I had to go shopping for two replacement Blackberrys (literally because the devices are about to die), and because I really didn’t want to lock in for an additional 2-year commitment contract wise, decided to go the eBay route to by unlocked devices at a premium so that I would be able to have more freedom of choice as new devices become available (and this was even before hearing about the Nexus One).

Sure ATT would have gave me lots of incentives to get heavily discounted sexier replacement devices (and most consumers cave during this process), but no matter what way you played it there would be strings attached. Trapping customers is certainly not unique to ATT, so I’m not dumping on them, but rather an industry that is decidedly customer unfriendly (and I have been a business customer of Verizon and Sprint too).

And in fairness to ATT, service wise we are OK, and have been able to make their plans work well for our small business. I may be in the minority, but I’d rather pay the real cost of the devices of my choosing and have freedom in exchange. Have an opinion on this?

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