What If ISP’s Operated Like Cellphone Carriers?

The following video and the transcript below, is a direct result of conversation I had with Sara about the fact that there are currently no Android phones available on the Sprint network.

Transcript of the video:

What would the world be like, or what would your communications be like, if ISP’s operated the same way cellphone carriers do?

Imagine a situation where, with ISP’s operating the same as cellphone carriers, every time you wanted to change from one ISP to another you had to buy a new laptop, and the laptop that you bought had to be one approved by the ISP for use on their network!

Imagine every time, if you wanted to go out and buy an Alienware PC or but the latest Mac notebook, laptop or whatever and you couldn’t do it because they weren’t available to your ISP. Further to that imagine if you the got hold of your new laptop after moving to your new ISp and found that you can’t run the software you want on it because the software has to be approved buy the hardware manufacturer in conjunction with the ISP.

This may sound like a really, really stupid situation considering the cost of laptops and the cost of an ISP for a year but it is a situation that we go through and deal with everyday, especially in the US. Not so much here in Europe, but especially in the US in terms of our cellphones.

Now, many cellphone handsets are just as expensive as an entry level laptop or low end laptop. You can pay 300, 400 dollars or more, 500 – 600 dollars for a handset sometimes and yet you can only use it with certain networks.

Here in Europe things are very, very different on that front. I can buy any handset I want (except an iPhone) and as long as I take a contract and get a SIM card, with the network that I want to be on, then I can put it on any network that I want to put it on. And I can move it from network to network just by changing the SIM card.

Now, you can buy a phone here discounted, because of your contract with the cellphone carrier which locks your phone to that cellphone carrier. However, when you finish your contract you are allowed unlock your phone and move it to any other network.

But, you know, that’s besides the point.

The point that I’m trying to make here is that cellphone handsets are expensive. We buy them they are our hardware, once we purchase them.

They have also become very, very central to our communications and they’ve become central to our productivity. They are  just as essential to our productivity in some cases as our laptops are. They allow us to do many of the same functions while we’re on the move and stay in contact. But why is it that while we wouldn’t put up with this behaviour from ISP’s we put up with it from cellphone manufacturers/carriers?

Cellphones cost approximately the same as an entry level laptop yet if somebody was to tell you that you can’t use your laptop with us because we only allow Apple or we only allow say, Dell PC’s on our ISP, you’d be in uproar. The whole place would be in war over it.

So again, why do we allow this to happen with our cellphone handsets?