AT&T Chief Executive Ralph de la Vega says AT&T users can use any device on its wireless network, adding that it is the most open wireless company, according to a recent interview.
The AT&T Wireless head's statement to USA Today on Wednesday comes weeks after rival Verizon Wireless said it would be opening up its network to any device with any software, provided it meets certain technical standards.
You can use any handset on our network you want, he told USA Today. We don't prohibit it, or even police it.
Users have had the opportunity to use any device on the network for years. De la Vega said sales people at AT&T will now make sure consumers know all their options before buying. Still, a marketing campaign for the option is not something he would confirm or deny, USA Today reported.
Internet search giant Google, which wants to grow its search ad business on mobile phones, recently launched a new venture to help mobile handset makers add more features to phones using Google software at no cost. Google has been pushing makers to embrace open standards to give customers more choices.
What Google has promised to do next year for the wireless market next year is something AT&T is doing today, De la Vega said.
We are the most open wireless company in the industry, he added.
One device that will be restricted to AT&T's network, however, is the Apple iPhone due Apple's a five-year exclusive distribution contract with the carrier.
AT&T's phones use a technology called GSM, which is incompatible with Verizon's CDMA technology. Most devices that work on one network will not work on the other.