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  1.    #1  
    Here is an excellent post from SaltyDawg over at PDAphoneHome. It may be a little long, but well worth the read. I heard about this on a talk show on my Sat Radio about 3 weeks ago and I wanted to post on this as well, but I seriously doubt I would have laid d it out as good as this......

    The Problem...
    Sprint will only allow its customers to use phones that were purchased from Sprint. They will not allow customers to purchase third party devices. Even if the device is unlocked, and fully compatible with Sprint's network, they will not activate it unless it was purchased from Sprint.

    This is really hurting the development of new devices. There are manufacturers out there who simply refuse to make devices unless they are allowed to retail them. OEM's do not want to go through Sprint. Nokia and Motorola are two OEM's that come to mind as companies who refused to deal with Sprint for a long time.

    Companies don't want waste lots of money developing a new device, only to have Sprint refuse to carry it. Companies also don't want to spend lots of money developing a new device, only to have Sprint "test" it for over a year- making the device obsolete by the time it's finally released.

    Sprint also refuses to deal with most OEM's. There are only a select few companies that Sprint will consider purchasing devices from. This makes it impossible for the small time sellers to do business with Sprint customers. As we are all well aware, there are some great deals out there by small time sellers- mostly online but some brick and mortar as well. I personally would like to possibly send a spec sheet to a few OEMs and order several thousand devices to sell that do not exist yet. This is not possible with Sprint.

    This is not a problem with most carriers in the world. You can simply put your SIM card in whatever phone you want and it will work for you. This is not the case with Sprint. You have to call Sprint and get your phone activated by speaking to someone.

    The Solution...
    There is a technology available, and in use with some carriers since 2002, called RUIM. These are cards similar to SIM cards, but made for CDMA carriers like Sprint. Read more about them here:

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-ruim-card.htm

    What can you do?
    Sprint has a message board that is monitored by company execs. you do NOT have to be a Sprint customer to post there. You do NOT need to give them any personal info to register. You do NOT need to give them your name, phone number, or anything else that you don't give any other message board to register. You can give them all fake info. They don't care. It's just like any other message board. Even if you're not a Sprint customer, let them know that you're not a customer because you like the freedom of popping a SIM card into a phone and using it. You do not like being limited in your phone choices.

    Register here: http://www.buzzaboutwireless.com/cms...task,register/

    And then post in these threads and let them know we want to use RUIM cards:

    There may be other topics as well, but I wanted to make this easy for everyone.

    Spread the word.
    Put links to this post on all the message boards you visit. Put a link to it in your signature. We need to get the word out so people will let Sprint know how they feel. We don't know how long Sprint will be paying attention to those message boards, so we want to let them know right now, while we still can.

    Make it the Law
    You may or may not be aware that local land line telephone companies used to require their customers to buy phones from them. There was a law passed that requires them to allow third party phones purchased from third party sellers. (anyone have a reference to this law as it had big impact at the time and on the home phone market as it stands today) In fact, I have heard that the law actually forbids the landline telephone companies from selling phones. I'm not sure about that, but I know I can go to Walmart (or just about any store) and buy a phone that works on my landline. It's only fair to require wireless carriers to also allow third party devices on their network. You should NOT have to buy a phone from Sprint (or from someone that bought it from Sprint) in order to use it on Sprint. As long as the device is compatible with Sprint's network, you should be able to use it. Please write your congress reps and let them know you want a law passed to open up the market. You can contact

    Please write to them and let them know that it would inspire competition in the market if they forced the wireless carriers to allow third party devices. (anyone have a reference for this law as this has a huge impact at the time and what the home phone market is today). A lot of carriers (mostly GSM) already allow third party devices. This is why there are so many advanced devices available for GSM networks. People always complain that the USA doesn't get the mopst advanced devices. Well you can get most of the advanced GSM devices in the USA, you just can't get CDMA devices for use on Sprint/Verizon/any other CDMA carrier. And if the law stated that these networks had to allow third party devices, there would be no shortage of companies trying to sell them to the public. Not only would you have the option to buy better devices, but you would have the option to start a business selling them as well. So please, let your congress reps know.

    Thank you for your time in reading this. I hope you will take the time to post on Sprint's message board. Please help us by spreading the word. Even if you have no intention of ever using Sprint, it would only help everyone for Sprint to allow 3rd party devices.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 04/11/2007 at 03:18 PM.
  2.    #2  
    Here is some additional information from Bam at PDAphoneHome when talking about using the upcoming VZ SCH-i760 on Sprint's network :

    Referring the Copyright Office ruling of 11/06. This matter is a bit awkward.

    Essentially, the decision was this:
    For the next three years (or longer if renewed), "unlocking" a handset cannot be deemed a violation of copyright protection issued to the developer, or owner, of a handset's firmware. Thus, one is now permitted to "hack," with impunity, a subsidy-lock.

    The bad news is that carriers are neither obliged to supply an unlock code nor to permit "foreign" devices on their networks. In the case of GSM carriers, there's been, for some time, a degree of permissiveness regarding the above. T-Mo and AT&T/Cing will supply unlock codes under certain conditions (e.g., cust in good standing for 90 days, traveling overseas, etc.), and neither carrier imposes a restriction on devices. All that's required to activate a "rogue" GSM unit on either network--assuming frequency compatibility--is a valid SIM.

    Regarding CDMA devices, the issue plays out a bit differently. CDMA units aren't subsidy-locked per se, so there's no "unlocking" sport involved; these devices are ESN-qualified and 'serve at the pleasure of the carrier'. What this means is that if a CDMA carrier will allow your non-branded unit on its network, you're good to go. Of late, VZW has returned to a fairly civilized policy and will allow many (but not necessarily all) non-VZW CDMA radios to activate on its system, especially if similar gear is sold by VZW.

    But Sprint takes an odd and baffling fork in the road. It continues to demand that all hardware on its network be Sprint-branded. This policy is unaccountable--particularly as Sprint offers a generally inferior fleet of devices and needs every new subscriber it can get. Who cares where the handset originated?! Just honor it and get out of the way! But then, Sprint has a 20+-year legacy of bungled business operations. Sad.

    To appreciate the irrelevancy of Sprint's culture, just look to this acronym: Southern Pacific Railroad Information NeTwork.

    So, to answer the question, no, Sprint will not activate a VZW SCH-i760. As to whether Sprint will offer an equivalent device (months) down the road, we don't know.

    --BAM

    Note: A carrier's willingness to activate a "foreign" device does not imply a warranty of suitability for use on its network, or confer assurance that all functions will operate. For example, the carrier's custom UI or feature set may not be available for installation (flashing) on a particular handset; in effect, the unit will be unsupported.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2064707,00.asp

    http://www.computers.net/2006/12/unlock_your_cel.html
  3.    #3  
    Here is a good post on the subject over at the Buzz:

    For all the naysayers, let me say a few things...

    1: Just because Sprint allowed people to use unlocked phones, it doesn't mean Sprint would have to stop selling phones. People with Cingular and T-Mobile have the option of buying a phone from the carrier (Cingular or T-Mobile), even at a discounted rate if they sign a contract. But the customers of Cingular and T-Mobile also have the option of ordering an unlocked phone from a 3rd party and using it instead. So all the data provisioning, support, and configuration problems are a non issue. If people didn't want to risk support, warranty, configuration, provisioning, or whatever issues, then they could still just buy a device from Sprint.

    2: There are CDMA carriers in other countries right now that use a RUIM card. It's like a CDMA version of a SIM card. These carriers allow unlocked devices the same way GSM carriers do. If they can do it, so can Sprint.

    3: Right now, it IS on Sprint to make sure they have the hands down best phones. If Sprint only wants to allow us to buy phones from them, then it IS on Sprint to make sure they always have the phones we want. And lets face it, Sprint has been TERRIBLE at this recently. How many times in the last year has Verizon come out with a phone several months before Sprint? Pretty much all the PDA phones went to Verizon for several months before Sprint got them. This would not be the case if we could use unlocked phones. Sprint would no longer have a huge weight on their shoulders to carry a huge selection of the best phones. Yes, they could still try to do that if they wanted too, but they would no longer HAVE to.

    4:
    • Anyone remember the Hitachi G1000? The first PDA phone with a qwerty keyboard... How it advertised text messaging on the box and the Sprint website? But when I spent the $650 on it, I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that Sprint had REMOVED the text messaging support. And it took about 30 calls to Sprint support to find that out. An end user on a web forum (pdaphonehome) ended up setting up a server, and creating an app that let G1000 users send text messages over the internet.
    • Anyone remember the PPC 6600? The first EVDO PDA phone in the USA? Sprint disabled the EVDO on it. They insisted it wasn't EVDO capable- even though Verizon users had the exact same phone and were using eVDO with it. And what makes it even worse is, UT Starcom confirmed that there was a software update for it that enabled EVDO. And yet even worse than that- the software update was leaked to the Internet. Several people downloaded it and had working EVDO on their PPC-6600's. Then Sprint pulled the plug on it. They made some changes to the backend that killed the 6600's authentication to the EVDO network.
    • Anyone familiar with the current PPC-6700? It's the successor to the PPC-6600 I just discussed. It has working EVDO! It also has a better camera! Problem? With the high speed data, and much better camera, Sprint removed the picture mail! So I have a high end phone, with really fast data, and a high end (for a phone, at the time) camera, that can't utilize them together. Brilliant! (like they say in the Guiness commercials).
    • Anyone here familiar with Windows Mobile? It's the operating system the PPC phones run. The PPC-6700 runs Windows Mobile 5. Anyway, Microsoft recently announced that ALL Windows Mobile 5 phones will be entitled to a FREE upgrade to Windows Mobile 6. That upgrade has supposedly already been released to carriers and device manufacturers. Does anyone here think Sprint will release it to us? There should not even be a question about this...


    My point to all of these things? It might not be a bad idea to allow unlocked devices. People keep saying Sprint won't be able to support them, but I just listed several examples of Sprint already not being able to support the stuff they sell. I for one would love the option of calling HTC (or whoever I got my device from) and asking THEM about picture mail on my device, or text messaging, or EVDO, or the upgrade to Windows Mobile 6 that Microsoft announced.

    On that note- are you guys aware that the PPC-6700 DOES indeed have a fully functional GPS chip in it? However, Sprint had it disabled for some reason...

    I don't see what the possible downside could be to unlocking the network. If I buy an unlocked device and the experience isn't as good as I expect, then I won;t get one from them next time. I may even buy my next device from Sprint. I'm sure Sprint would probably have some top noth devices if they had a little competition in selling them. And if they did have top noth devices, I'd be more likely to buy it from Sprint than some 3rd party from another country. Especially if I got a discount for signing a contract.

    Make it happen Sprint. Open up the market.

    (I just noticed after posting this is from Saltydawg as well)
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 04/11/2007 at 07:22 PM.
  4. #5  
    This issue has had me contemplating a switch to GSM time and time again but I haven't been able to leave Sprint with the savings I get.
    at&t iPhone3G
  5. #6  
    The whole thing pisses me off!!

    I remember with analogue service, that is what you did. You purchased your phone and whichever provider you chose would frantically punch in a bunch of top secret #'s to make it work with thier service.

    This stronghold they currently have is absolutey ridiculous and should be illegal. It's no different than the Millions of dollar things M$ is sued for everyday.

    Especially now that most families have 2 or more phones. For me to switch providers would roughly cost about $1,000 dollars in hardware even for average non PDA phones.
  6.    #7  
    sxtg....Then just like OP says, take action. Right your congressman, the FCC, and post your opinions on TheBuzz.
  7. #8  
    RUIM cards are something I can stand behind! You know I'm a big fan of device choice!!
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  8. #9  
    I'm all for it but you have to realize very few if any CDMA carriers use RUIM's outside of Asia and finding an RUIM phone right now would be tough. It's not like there's a huge market of RUIM phones. Then there is also the fact that us forum users are such a miniscule part of the mobile phone community. Call me a pessimist but it would be a tough sell to the wonderful Gary Forsee and Co. He hasn't been known lately for rational decisions that make business sense.
  9.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by xchpstang View Post
    I'm all for it but you have to realize very few if any CDMA carriers use RUIM's outside of Asia and finding an RUIM phone right now would be tough. It's not like there's a huge market of RUIM phones.
    It would take Sprint to allow it and phones will come. And a single TV AD would create enought stir among the normal casual users to let them know....

    Could you imagine seeing an advertisement showing a business woman with here Treo at work and then swaps out her RUIM card to use a sleek RAZOR type phone to go on a date in the evening. Or the businessman using a PPC-6700 at work and swapping out his card to use a Fusic while he goes mountain biking so he does not have fear about losing his whole professional life if his phone fell off the bike. I know these specific models will not be compatible, but you get the picture.
  10. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    It would take Sprint to allow it and phones will come. And a single TV AD would create enought stir among the normal casual users to let them know....

    Could you imagine seeing an advertisement showing a business woman with here Treo at work and then swaps out her RUIM card to use a sleek RAZOR type phone to go on a date in the evening. Or the businessman using a PPC-6700 at work and swapping out his card to use a Fusic while he goes mountain biking so he does not have fear about losing his whole professional life if his phone fell off the bike. I know these specific models will not be compatible, but you get the picture.
    Excellent point. It could also increase phone sales from Sprint if the average user were to buy the PDA Phone (Treo, 6700) and Razor from them directly.

    If it wasn't for the dirt cheap deal I get with SERO and the great EVDO coverage in my area, I would have stuck with Cingular.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p > Treo 700wx -> Mogul -> Touch Pro
    You may like to flash, but your phone shouldn't. LED Killer
  11.    #12  
    It looks like some in Washington are taking notice and starting to take some steps...but with only a limited spectrum range:

    New rules could rock wireless world

    Coming soon could be a wireless broadband world in which consumers get to pick any smartphone or other device and load any software on it - not have to take what the wireless carrier wants to sell.

    That's the goal of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin, who will propose sweeping new rules for wireless airwaves the government is auctioning early next year. The 700 MHz spectrum, being vacated by TV stations as they go digital, is coveted for its ability to penetrate walls and other obstacles.

    Under Martin's proposal, to be circulated in the agency as early as Tuesday, mobile services in these airwaves would have to allow consumer choice.

    "Whoever wins this spectrum has to provide … truly open broadband network - one that will open the door to a lot of innovative services for consumers," Martin said in an interview Monday.

    What this would mean in practice: "You can use any wireless device and download any mobile broadband application, with no restrictions," Martin explained. The only exceptions would be software that is illegal or could harm a network.

    The proposed rules would apply only to the spectrum being auctioned, not the rest of the wireless business, which still makes most of its revenue from voice calls. But Martin's proposal, if adopted by the FCC, could reverberate through a U.S. wireless industry that has tightly controlled access to devices and services. The Apple iPhone is a prime example: Like most devices sold in the USA, the iPhone is, in industry parlance, "locked." It allows only features and applications that Apple (AAPL) and AT&T (T) provide and works only with an AT&T contract.

    The FCC chairman said he has grown increasingly concerned that the current practices "hamper innovations" dreamed up by outside developers. One example: Mobile devices that also can use Wi-Fi, such as a home network or airport "hot spot," for Internet access. "Internationally, Wi-Fi handsets have been available for some time," Martin noted. "But they are just beginning to roll out here."

    Some handset makers actually strip out Wi-Fi features at the request of U.S.-based carriers loath to allow any feature that could let users sidestep their fee-based services and applications. "I am concerned that we are seeing some innovations being rolled out more slowly here than we are in other parts of the world," Martin said.


    In Europe, for example, consumers for years have had access to an array of "unlocked" devices they can pack with applications from a variety of developers.

    Because the devices aren't tethered to any one carrier, wireless consumers in other countries can take devices with them when they switch carriers. In the USA, with cellphones typically "locked," customers who switch have to throw their old phones away.

    Martin said he has no plans, for now, to try to extend his proposal to other parts of the wireless business. But he believes it would, if adopted, pressure carriers to change. "I think it sends an important message."

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/200...kwirelessworld
  12. wbkm85's Avatar
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    #13  
    god i wish this would happen soon!
    blake!

    Sprint Centro
  13.    #14  
    Here is another great article posted over at PDAphoneHome's thread that was the basis for this thread:

    AIR WAR
    A Fight Over What You
    Can Do on a Cellphone
    Handset Makers Push
    Free Features for Which
    Carriers Want to Charge
    By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO
    June 14, 2007; Page A1

    Wireless phone carriers and the makers of hand-held gadgets like the BlackBerry have long had a symbiotic relationship. Carriers sell the BlackBerry to subscribers, putting it in the hands of millions. In turn, the carriers get to charge their subscribers not just for voice but for pricier data service as well.

    Now, a turf war is looming between the two camps, as lucrative new services such as video, games, and maps move onto mobile devices. Each camp wants to control the new offerings, and the gusher of revenue they could produce.

    The war is already playing out over the popular BlackBerry. Its maker Research In Motion Ltd. wants to move beyond its core business market, so it designed a device with features like video and music players. RIM wanted to include an electronic map, too, to let users find directions. But it needed AT&T Inc., which sells BlackBerrys to consumers and provides wireless service, to agree that the new model launched earlier this year could include this mapping software.

    AT&T said no. It wanted to offer its subscribers its own version of a map service, and charge them $9.99 a month.

    "There's a battle for customer ownership," says Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive of RIM. "There is going to be a considerable reordering of the...food chain."

    At stake for consumers are what services will be available on their mobile phones and whether they're free or cost a monthly fee. The wireless Web is taking off more slowly in America than overseas, and one reason is that U.S. carriers tightly control what applications are available on mobile devices. That's a contrast with Europe and parts of Asia, where carriers' control is less tight and where wireless services have been more broadly available for years.

    Pressure is building for U.S. carriers to loosen their grip. The push comes in part from handset makers that want to make their devices more attractive by including a host of services and software applications. If the handset makers succeed, consumers could see a rise in the number of sophisticated applications available free.

    For investors, at issue is who gets what share of the $15 billion-plus of revenue generated annually by mobile data services in the U.S. -- a market that is forecast to explode. Phone carriers want the revenue to offset declining revenue from their voice businesses.

    Until recently, carriers and cellphone manufacturers didn't have much to fight over. The phones had few fancy features besides text messaging and cameras. But they're morphing into little computers, able to do such things as download music, stream video and surf the Web. Handset makers now include computer companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Apple Inc.

    The reason the carriers are in such a powerful position is that in the U.S., handset makers typically don't have direct relationships with consumers. Instead, carriers buy handsets in bulk from the likes of RIM, Nokia Corp. and Motorola Inc., reselling them to people who buy service plans. If carriers don't like a feature a handset maker has built in, they can simply refuse to buy it.

    Manufacturers can sometimes overcome such resistance by having a product so sought-after that carriers don't want to say no. An example is the iPhone, due out from Apple later this month. Apple leveraged the huge popularity of its iPod music player to get AT&T to sell consumers the iPhone without also offering -- as AT&T had wanted to do -- the carrier's own line of games and ring tones.

    The BlackBerry's great popularity has also sometimes let its maker flex its muscles. With nearly half the U.S. market for smart phones -- those that include features such as email and a Web browser -- RIM has been largely responsible for getting consumers to upgrade their cellphone service plans to data plans. These are more lucrative for carriers. Using this leverage, RIM has persuaded carriers to include some free features, such as instant-messaging, in BlackBerry models.

    Handset makers also sometimes try to bypass the carriers' control by selling directly to consumers. But carriers' resistance to efforts to go around them can be fierce, for historical reasons. As the Web goes wireless, they want to prevent a repeat of what happened when the Internet first arose. They provided access to it, but the businesses that thrived were others, such as Amazon.com, that provided services over the Net. Carriers were reduced to what the industry calls "dumb pipes." To avoid that plight, wireless companies tightly control what services cellphone consumers can access, their cost and who displays what on cellphone screens.

    The BlackBerry has long been a big money maker for the carriers. They first began buying the email devices in bulk and selling them to consumers in 2000, along with the data service plans for their use. There are about eight million BlackBerry subscribers world-wide now.

    Competition soon arose. Palm Inc. and Nokia also began making handsets with email as well as voice capability. On the software side, Microsoft Corp. offered an operating system to compete with the one RIM had built for the BlackBerry.

    Mike Lazaridis, who had founded RIM in 1984 while a student in Ontario, decided BlackBerry needed a makeover to keep up its fast growth. Aiming to attract ordinary cellphone users, not just business customers, he set out a few years ago to turn it into a hip consumer device.

    First, he asked engineers to make it smaller. They trimmed its battery size by 20% and developed a smaller keyboard. They gave it software that recognizes the words users are trying to type.

    For navigating, the team added a trackball -- in effect a tiny, upside-down computer mouse. Mr. Lazaridis baptized this model the Pearl because that's what the translucent trackball vaguely resembled.

    He asked RIM employees, who included hundreds of college students, to develop new applications. Within months, they designed music players, photo software, and instant-messaging software to send short text messages quickly.

    Mr. Lazaridis encouraged outside software designers, too. A software company called Magmic Inc. developed Bplay, a Web site with ring tones and games that owners of the BlackBerry Pearl could download for a few dollars each.

    Another company, Handmark Inc., developed software to let users get weather, sports and news alerts. And one called 30 Second Software produced software so users could send flowers, chocolates or books to a person on a user's contact list with a few clicks.

    RIM wanted to have these types of services available on the Pearl when consumers bought it. The alternative was for users to find and download the software from Web sites, via the device's Internet browser. That system would greatly reduce the services' appeal. Many people wouldn't realize the services existed or would find downloading them too hard.

    Carriers refused to include these features in the menu of icons users can click on. For example, RIM executives enjoyed using their own BlackBerrys to play games like Texas Hold 'em, which can be downloaded from the Bplay Web site that Magmic built. They talked to AT&T about including the Bplay games in the BlackBerry Pearl. Instead of agreeing to this, AT&T made some Bplay games available from its own virtual store, Media Mall.

    Now users of the BlackBerry Pearl must pay a few dollars to download a game. The money is split between Magmic and AT&T. "The carriers want their own content store," says a Magmic vice president, Nicholas Reichenbach.

    RIM also wanted to offer BlackBerry users a free search service for finding things like movie theaters, show times and restaurants. It spent months developing such a feature with InfoSpace Inc., according to an executive of that software company. The two companies talked about possibly splitting revenue from ads sold against the locater service among RIM, InfoSpace and a wireless phone carrier.

    Again, carriers balked. Sprint Nextel Corp. felt such an ad-supported service would compete with its own local navigation service -- for which Sprint charges -- according to someone familiar with the matter. The result is that InfoSpace now is trying to get BlackBerry owners to use their Web browser to download the locater service from InfoSpace's Web site. Sprint Nextel declined to comment.

    RIM's Mr. Balsillie says his company's role is to create phones that carriers want to sell, but the arguments over which features make it onto the devices can be frustrating.

    RIM has scored some victories. AT&T, seeing the popularity of the BlackBerry Messenger instant-messaging service, agreed to let RIM make this a standard feature on the Pearl model. Before, AT&T customers with BlackBerrys could get the instant-messaging service only by downloading it from RIM's Web site.

    Even without some of the features RIM wanted built in, the Pearl was a big success when it came out last September. Wireless carriers have sold nearly a million, analysts estimate, including overseas.

    Other handset makers face similar issues. The carrier Verizon Wireless declined to offer its subscribers Apple's forthcoming iPhone, according to people familiar with the matter. Verizon wanted it to include Verizon's own music and video service along with Apple's, an arrangement unacceptable to Apple. The joint owners of Verizon Wireless, Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, have been heavily marketing their music and video service for monthly fees. AT&T, by contrast, agreed to offer the iPhone without putting in its own mobile Web and entertainment service.

    Earlier this year Nokia and Motorola announced their own navigation and mapping services, using Global Positioning System technology to send directions, maps and local search information to cellphones. They're trying to go straight to consumers. Motorola plans to sell a tiny GPS receiver that lets consumers access maps and directions when it's placed near its newest phones. It will be available through wireless operators and on Motorola's Web site.

    Nokia has begun selling a separate smart phone with navigation software through its U.S. Nokia stores, at other retailers and online. The Finnish company is one of the few handset makers that deal with U.S. consumers directly through their own stores. Consumers who buy a mobile device at retail must activate it by swapping in a service card from another phone they've bought. While the vast majority of phones in the U.S. are sold through wireless carriers, overseas many consumers buy phones and wireless service separately.

    Seeking to get ahead of the pack, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard and Nokia want to build more handsets with WiFi technology. With this, a cellphone user could tap the Internet at any café, airport or home that has a WiFi "hot spot." Besides using it for smart phones' built-in Internet browsers, consumers could use the connection to make Internet phone calls.

    That would be a threat to wireless carriers. Subscribers would be bypassing the carriers' networks for calls. Carriers have so far largely refused to sell WiFi phones for mainstream cellphone and smart-phone users. To date, carriers have agreed to sell only a few handset models with WiFi, to enterprises whose employees often work at locations like hospitals.

    When Nokia wanted to bring a new wireless email device to the U.S. last year, AT&T insisted it remove the WiFi chip before AT&T would offer it to consumers. A Nokia sales executive, Todd Thayer, said the company will be less likely to strike that compromise in the future and will sell WiFi handsets directly in its stores. A spokeswoman for AT&T said the carrier will permit only those built-in features it thinks subscribers want.

    WiFi technology could let owners of cellphones download songs and videos more rapidly, and use the devices in areas with weak cellular reception. For those reasons, RIM also wants to build WiFi technology into BlackBerry models, says RIM's co-CEO, Mr. Balsillie. RIM plans to launch a device with WiFi by the end of the year.

    The Waterloo, Ontario, company isn't slowing its push into advanced services despite carriers' resistance. In March, it gave software companies access to the code underlying more applications for advanced BlackBerrys, to make it easier for them to build services tailored to the devices.

    A company called QuickPlay Media Inc. plans to launch a service this summer that would allow users to download video content like music videos and sports highlights to BlackBerrys. QuickPlay saved months of development time by using the device's existing video player rather than creating its own. Having access to the software code also enabled QuickPlay, of Toronto, to create features such as being able to easily store and locate videos on the device.

    Write to Jessica E. Vascellaro at jessica.vascellaro@wsj.com
  14.    #15  
    Want to see how easy it is to install a RUIN card in a 6700? Take a look at what Hetal Patel posted over at PDAphoneHome.....

    I have made Verizon and Sprint PPC6700 based Phone to RUIM Based
    1. You just have to Open the Mother boad and Solder the RUIM Slot into it.
    2. then after Rebooting it, You have to type ##diag into Phone and then Click to Start and then Connecte to Mini USB of Computer
    3. then using QPST in Service Programming go to tab 1x HDR the in RUIM Box
    4. Select RUIM only or RUIM if Avail then again Reboot the PPC and Push the RUIM Card into the Phone
    5. Your Phone is RUIM Based now
    Any More Query please mail me on

    i am from India Using Verizon Phone RUIM Base in Reliance Network

    Reliance Freely gives RUIM card in India

    hetaldp@gmail.com

    Images of how to install it:

    http://pdaphonehome.com/forums/631814-post14.html
  15. #16  
    Perhaps I missed somethin, but can't you replace Sprint with Verizon an d repeat the entire thread? Verizon gets some phones first, but the Mogul and 700wX came out on Sprint first.
    A new Avatar to commemorate Silly Season.
  16.    #17  
    Certainly. This is not just Sprint. This is about USA based carriers locking down their networks and denying their customers features on the phones that were originally developed to be used on them. This is about any carrier limiting the phones that are able to be used.

    It is nothing different than if Qwest said that you could only use one of 4 specific telephones in your home to use their network as long as the analog answering machine built into the phone base was disabled forcing the customer to pay for their VM service.
  17. #18  
    Only those who want better phones should sign up.
    A new Avatar to commemorate Silly Season.
  18. #19  
    I'd love to have an "afterhours" phone without paying for an extra line or a two year contract. Can't do that on a US carrier (except maybe Tmobile and their prepaid srevice).

    When the 700P MR drama was unfolding I went looking for a new phone. After drooling over a Nokia N95, I went to see which US carrier has it in the stable. Ummm...none.

    I'd love to be able to shift phones on the fly. I'm seriously considering moving to Tmobile (except they have little widespread 3G service) and the prepaid plan come contract due date.

    Do unlocked phones work seamlessly on one network to the next? Like if I bought an unlocked N95 and assuming I had a cingular/TM account with voice and data, would just dropping in the sim card allow total access to the network IAW your plan details?
  19. #20  
    Great posts and articles. While I've always known about carriers removing WIFI some of the other stuff is more curious. Why was picture mail disabled? There are so many large and small carriers in the U.S. now I fear there will be a huge culling in the coming years. Then watch out.
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