Monday, May 21, 2007

Will business customers force cell network neutrality?

A recent Information Week article criticizes the US cell phone industry for disabling phone features, restricting phones to one network, restricting Internet access, using incompatible communication technologies, and poor quality of service and coverage. For example, the article says that "by some estimates, nine out of ten cell phones in the US are sold by carriers, nearly reverse the ratio in other countries." Compared to the cell companies, wired Internet service providers are good guys and network neutrality advocates.

That is all bad news, but the article maintains that since mobile access is becoming very important in business, the cell companies might be pressured into reform. Consumers take whatever the operators offer, but business will not.

We spoke of this topic in an earlier post on Tim Wu and efforts to obtain wireless net neutrality.

In some nations, cell phones and cell service must be sold separately -- can you find which ones?