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Verizon Says Locked Bootloaders Better for the Network

Article Comments  20  

Mar 1, 2012, 10:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Verizon Wireless sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in early February detailing its thoughts on locked bootloaders on its smartphones. The letter was sent in response to a lawsuit filed against Verizon by a customer, who claimed that the locked bootloader on his phone violated the rules of the FCC's 700MHz spectrum auction. Verizon executive analyst Fred Powell explained, "An open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers." In other words, Verizon believes that locking the bootloaders of its smartphones will help protect its network.

more info at Droid Life »



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This forum is closed.


Mar 1, 2012, 1:57 PM

What they say and what they mean...

What they are saying is:

Allowing users unrestricted access to their phones operating system can jeopardize the security of their customers data and the reliability of the Verizon network if phones are compromised and used for a DDoS attack.

Which is TRUE.

What they did not say is:

Allowing unlocked bootloaders also allows customers to use their phones in a manner that prevents Verizon from collecting additional revenue (such as tethering fees) and discourages users from upgrading phones (and signing lucrative long-term contracts) based on the software features on a specific phone.

Which is also TRUE.
You do not need an unlocked bootloader in order to install an after-market free tethering app and prevent Verizon from collecting any tethering fees.

Mar 1, 2012, 1:06 PM

It's like my laptop and the cable company...

I don't see where this is any different than the concept of my laptop and the cable company.


The key point here is ownership. I own my laptop, and can do whatever I want with it. Use it with Windows, or Linux, or throw it in the pool if I see fit. It's my property, and I have complete physical and logical access to it. I do NOT, however, have the same access to Comcast's cable data system - because THEY own it. I'm just a subscriber, and they provide a data hose. But Comcast knows they can't take away admin or root access on my computers, because it's not theirs to do it.

Same with the cell phone. It's mine; I paid for it. I can use it as is, mod it, or prop up an uneven table leg with it. I can't legally hack or change Ve...
The difference is that you don't get your laptop from your ISP, and your laptop doesn't have ISP branding or run software created by the ISP.

The thing is, when you buy carrier equipment, you don't really own it, you are basically just borrowing ...

Mar 1, 2012, 11:10 AM

Good grief Verizon, not you too with anti-consumer policies!

AT&T does a lot of stupid things with data and their customers and I call them on it often. This IMHO is anti-consumer. I pay full price for my phones (unsubsidized) so I feel I should be allowed to do with it what I want like rooting, etc. I hope Verizon stays cool with customers still on grandfathered unlimited data or Im headed to Sprint. This is an anti-consumer move and a step in the wrong direction to want to mess with phones so they cant or would be more difficult to root. Bad move Verizon.
Sprint might not offer unlimited data for much longer either. Their network is running thin too.
And besides, it's not up to the carrier to assist with unlocking bootloaders. It's between the user and the device manufacturer. I recently unlocked the ...

Mar 1, 2012, 5:23 PM

Wait, doesn't this seem in direct contradiction....

To what Verizon was telling us a few years ago? Oh wait, it does! » ... »

I see 212 devices on this particular list. So perhaps of those 212 devices, the phone you are looking for isn't on that list...I would assume?

Mar 1, 2012, 11:32 AM

Im not a network engenire

Im not a network engenire so Im not sure what the possible negative impact of a rooted phone on Verizons network could be.

I suppose that if someone wanted to they might to try to upload harmfull info onto the network if they wanted to but who knows.

I would think that the carrier however does have the right to limit what kind/type of devices that are on there network...the same way a business owner has the right to refuse service to someone without shoes and a shirt lol.

I think that if your doing personal mods to your device that should be allowed but unless theres a way to ensure that it just stays personal ie: taking off preloaded software or adding a custom OS to your phone then they probably should keep it locked right now.
Verizon, and networks in general, do have the right to determine what kind of devices can connect to their network, however I think that unless Verizon can PROVE that actual harm to the network can result from a particular mod to a phone then they sho...

Mar 1, 2012, 11:01 AM

*Sniff sniff*... what's that smell??


Verizon only wants to deny its customers freedom of choice, bottom line. The only "negative impact" it would have would be ultimately in their pocket(s) and the fact that they want total control in d***ing people over.



Mar 1, 2012, 11:00 AM


I believe the FCC stated that Verizon must, as part of the 700Mhz spectrum auction, let any compatible device onto the network. If you buy a device from Verizon it can be locked down, but Verizon can NOT prevent a device with or without a locked bootloader or any other compatible device from being used or activated on the 700Mhz network - provided the customer passes credit checks and other things like that.
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