The PhoneBoy Blog

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CTIA’s “Talking Points” Against Carterfone Rules

Bog RollWhen I was looking for some information on Carterfone rules, I ran across this PDF from the CTIA about how the Carterfone rules should not apply to the wireless industry. I tend to disagree. Let me pick apart their talking points:

Requiring wireless networks to support any, generic device would erode the levels of service quality that wireless consumers have come to expect and demand. Um, isn’t this why the FCC exists, to ensure handsets meet the specific standards they claim to support? The fact is, I use “unapproved” handsets on AT&T and T-Mobile all the time–without issue. And their “support” claim? They hardly support handsets they sell.

Requiring commercial wireless networks to support any, generic device would compromise wireless network and handset security. Let’s look at Europe, where open handsets are the norm. Can anyone point to a single problem reported out of Europe that resulted from a generic device being on the network? Anyone?

2007 Industry Structure and Technology render 1968 Carterfone principles moot. Yeah, instead of a monopoly, we have an oligopoly. And the technologies are fairly stable, GSM and CDMA having been around the block for a while. Oh sure, new protocols are coming online. Isn’t that the FCC’s job to ensure devices are performing to standards?

Adopting Skype-rules would Chill Innovation and Raise Prices for Consumers. How so? There is nothing preventing you from continuing to give away your lousy handsets in exchange for 2 years of servitude. I will agree that it will chill innovation–as it comes from the carriers. Much like the Carterfone rules did for the public switched telephone network, innovation will come from the device manufacturers.

As usual, I’m not buying what the CTIA is selling, but let me know what you think!

C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.