Free My cell: Cellular Carterfone

May 1, 2007 at 5:19 pm 1 comment

Together with Jason of Brash we just filed our comments on the Cellular Carterfone.

You can view the RF&JD comments on Skype petition– or if you want a brief summary

1. Cellular handsets have become handheld computers, used for accessing information and other methods of communication in addition to voice calls. Cellular handsets have become small and powerful computers & Handsets have become our link to society and information:

2. The current cellular market is tightly controlled and oligopolistic, which results in inferior consumer offerings. We listed four examples: (i) Limiting handset features (Bluetooth/VZW, WiFi-E62, Hardly any WiFi-GSM handsets in the market. Only one Nokia N series in the market) (ii) Example 2: Slowing adoption of new consumer services such as visual voice mail (iii) Bundling handsets with service: consumers pay the same monthly service fee if they bring their own handset or get an operator ‘free’ handset and (iv) the Verizon Brew service which allows VZW to control information services and charge for content.

3. Enforcing the FCC’s existing broadband guidelines in the cellular handset market will benefit consumers and create new business opportunities. Three examples we gave: Free handsets and richer consumer offering with lower monthly service fees, First responders can get new specialized equipment or (iii) New types of Medical monitoring devices that can be developed

4. Remedy: The FCC should insist on cellular operator compliance and remove any special treatment for the wireless indsurty. This is about LESS regulation and less protection. Its about enforcing existing FCC open communication guidelines. First Enforce Carterfone principles: Devices can be offered by third parties and can not be blocked, and (ii) Operators should offer “service only” plans that do not bundle a handset with the service. Second Apply wired & broadband Net neutrality principles to Wireles.

There is only one Internet and one public IP network. Some nodes might be wired, some nodes might be wireless through the cellular network, some might be wireless through WiFi and some might use both or different networks. Same open rules and principles should apply – regardless if and end point is connected through GSM, CDMA, 80211G, 802.3 of any other technology acronym we cant pronounce.

If you want to support the Skype petition – click here to file comments with the FCC directly (it is quite easy – would not take more then a minute. Put ‘RM-11361’ in field 1. Document type is ‘Comment’ and you can type your thoughts in the bottom. Pretty straight forward)

Clarification – I was not paid to file this by Skype, Nokia or anybody else. I believe it is very important for consumers and the industry. And yes – I might be involved in one of the opportunities that will be created if FCC follows through (that is if C will not ban me from doing another startup)


Entry filed under: Cellular, Devices, Economy, Mobile, Random Thoughts, Skype, Technology.

Idanese – English dictionary Why handsets should be subsidized – but are not today

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Tim Wu  |  May 3, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Great comments! This needs to happen if wireless markets are to ever really open up to developers and entrepreneurs


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