Does AT&T have an open network?

USA Today is running an article headlined: "AT&T flings cellphone network wide open," even though the carrier has made no policy change about the openness of its network. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega told the reporter that "you can use any handset on our network you want. We don't prohibit it, or even police it."

Of course, what de la Vega means is consumers can use nearly any GSM handset on AT&T's network if they have a SIM card from the carrier, which is hardly "any handset" one may want. It is, however, similar to Verizon Wireless' recent announcement that it would be opening up its network to "any apps" and "any devices," but in Verizon Wireless' case the phones must run on its CDMA network and pass some as yet undisclosed technical requirements.

The USA Today article explains that AT&T has simply been keeping it quiet that for years wireless customers had the option of using devices and applications other than those offered by the carrier. AT&T said that now salespeople in the carrier's stores will make sure that consumers 'know all their options' before subscribing.

What do you think--Is AT&T's network "open"?

For more on the article:
- read it over at USA Today

ALSO: AT&T said it will rebrand Dobson stores to AT&T and start selling the iPhone in Dobson's markets starting this Sunday. Release