The regulations, which govern the upcoming auction of additional public airwaves to wireless carriers, require the establishment of universal handset standards that will break open the current closed system. In that system, wireless companies operate as a series of walled-off gardens that keep subscribers hostage to proprietary handsets and applications software.
But once consumer expectations are raised by the new open access mobile systems that give them control over content and handset-carrier combinations, as well as the ability to switch carriers at will, it's likely that carriers will change all their operations to open access. And that creates a whole new kind of mobile marketplace.
Also see the related print story, Google's Mobile Play Looks to Win Over Carriers and Consumers.