In the rest of the free world, when you buy a device that can connect to a cellular network, you simply shove a SIM card inside that device and you’re golden. America on the other hand, the operators are so tight assed about which devices connect to their network that you practically have to submit a urine sample in order to be able to make a phone call.
Case in point, the brand new LTE enabled Nexus 7. When Google announced it, they said it would work on all of America’s major networks, including the biggest, Verizon. Unfortunately, it looks like Verizon isn’t playing ball. When asked publicly via Twitter what’s the hold up on getting the Nexus 7 some LTE goodness, the answer was “not all LTE tablets are created equal”. While true, an iPad and a Nexus share almost nothing in common, the standards that they both use to connect to a cellular network were created so that you can take those two devices to any country with a GSM network and get access to a wireless data connection.
Will this bitching and moaning change anything? No. Verizon has the biggest and best network in the United States because they micro-manage it to hell. They’re never the first operator to get new phones, but once they do, you know they’ll be filled to the brim with Verizon software tuned to use Verizon’s network and Verizon’s service as tightly as possible.
Oh unless you have an iPhone. Then Apple controls the end to end experience.