Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cellular cracks open

The biggest interconnect story of the next few years may be the move to open cellular networks, creating the rough equivalent of a mobile Internet. Jake MacLeod, CTO at Bechtel Comms and an old hand in building cellular nets, thinks it is inevitable today's nets tightly controller by carriers will ultimately become open.

"What Google and other new entrants want is access to mobile customers," he told me in an interview for a story posted today. "They have a right to provide them mobility services that don’t have to be tied to an AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile."

Google has "a very creative play that will be met with a lot of resistance, but if they are successful they could change the face of communications," he said.

Verizon Wireless took a step in this direction stating last week it would open its network to any complaint device starting in 2008. Whoever gets the 700 MHz spectrum up for auction next week could push the trend further, given the FCC's mandate for open access on at least some of those airwaves.

Have any skinny on the details for compliance with Verizon? Got an opinion or rant on cellular nets? Sound off with a posting here or at rbmerrit@cmp.com

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