The 700Mhz spectrum will probably open up soon, and the FCC might set rules that make it illegal to restrict services. So in the long run hacking wireless devices might not be necessary, except for the pure fun of it.
For example, wireless cellular phone service carriers typical prohibit people from using another carrier. So when you change services you have to toss your phone and get a new one. That of course makes no sense and does make for a lot of electronic waste.
According to news reports the FCC is considering making that sort of 'locked in' service illegal in the new 700Mhz spectrum. You can read more about it over at Yahoo! News and more about the implications at InformationWeek, and read some not-so-surprising complaints over at The Register where Verizon said:
"The one-size-fits-all mentality that characterizes open access regimes for the wireless industry would begin the process of stifling innovation and creativity in our industry," Verizon Wireless general council Steven Zipperstein told the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet."
How's that for some seriously twisted logic? Somehow openness will stifle innovation and creativity? I truly fail to understand that logic, but I do understand that motives for saying it...