T-Mobile punches a hall through the cellular Internet wall

T-Mobile punches a hall through the cellular Internet wall

Summary: As cellular carriers gained more of the market, with their faster "broadband" offerings they threatened the basic end-to-end concept. Now the first crack has appeared in that wall.

TOPICS: Mobility

T-Mobile spokesmodel Catherine Zeta JonesT-Mobile has decided it will become the first major cellular carrier to offer real Internet service.

This is important. Until now mobile carriers have all offered only "walled gardens," a select group of Web sites users could access, which often paid the carriers for the privilege.

T-Mobile is making the move under the name Web'n'walk, introducing new devices with larger screens that can see an actual Web page. Google.Com has been designated as the browser's "official" home page. (Personally I'd prefer http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/.)

Why am I pointing this out in a blog called open source? Because at its heart the Internet is the ultimate open source project. The Internet's standards bodies have tried (sometimes unsuccessfully) to keep propretary technology out of basic Internet standards, so that the resource will remain free and open.

As cellular carriers gained more of the market, with their faster "broadband" offerings (the speeds are measured in just the hundreds of kilobits per second, hence the quote marks) they threatened the basic end-to-end concept. Now the first crack has appeared in that wall.

It will be interesting to see how users go for this, and whether they recognize the difference between a protected "walled garden" approach that claims to protect them (but doesn't always) and the real Internet.

Topic: Mobility

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  • many cell carriers already have this feature....

    Cool article but Im not sure its accurate as Ive had Sprint the past two years and have built my own mini-mobile web site and have full access to surf to it out on the Internet. Ive had this the past two years, so this T-Mobile blurb is obviously some PR lie meant to generate business.

    All you have to do is open up your phone or device and then your micro-browser in your device and go to "find url" or something similiar, type something in, and you can surf the web. I do know its true that many carriers do have a closed network, but not Sprint. Im not sure who has what in that list. But Sprint like many, tries to keep users "locked down" to their vendors pay-per-view or pay-per-user network pages, but you can still get out of the network. You still have to go through their WAP portal or proxy servers I would guess, so maybe thats what they mean....but that doesnt stop you from getting to the web. To bypass the proxies I would guess would then open up your device to security issues. The network proxies filter out allot of that junk for you.

    Its incredible LAME and sad that cell carriers continue to rip off their customers by forcing them to buy $1 here and $4 there for stuff they can get for FREE on the web! And those that do allow surfing, but hide that feature from their customers, do not educate their users to that knowledge, nor support the mobile web at large as a new presentation medium for typical web site formats online. In addition, we need more carriers to support mobile devices and agents that support the www.w3c.org mobile CSS handheld style sheet standards so its easy to attach CSS to any web page and its instantly formatted for your phone/device. The standards bodies in this group is a mess right now and all because of greed! The Web should be as open and free on mobile as it is on desktop....but thatday is appraoching fast and the carriers better get their act together and come up with a better income model because people will no longer pay for simple web access....we need value-added features and services.
  • for once atleast ---- thankyou

    For once an article on open source like it is supposed to be.

    I thought reporting was providing an unbiases opinion/report. Most previous open source articles have been like open source is the holy grail, like
    i) theres only good and no bad in open source
    ii)its always anti Microsoft (for no good reason)
  • Big deal?

    For those of you interested in this subject, I recommend you look at our Skweezer portal (http://www.skweezer.net). It gives you whole internet access including RSS reader, POP mail, Contacts, Favorites and more without relying on any one operator for access to content or functionality.
    Greenlight Wireless