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AT&T: Not Too Worried About Google Wireless

AT&T Mobility CEO & President Ralph de la Vega is not too worried about Google and its wireless ambitions. “Running a wireless network is a capital-intensive business,” he said in a chat earlier this week. “It’s not a business for the faint of heart.”

He said that AT&T has “looked at the scenarios many different ways,” and that while Google entering the wireless market was “not out of the realm of possibility,” he felt the wireless model was different from Google’s current business model. The Mountain View, Calif.-based search and Internet advertising giant is currently the fifth-largest company in the U.S. (ranked by market capitalization).

AT&T’s mobility chief pointed out that they have the spectrum, assets and customers to compete. “We have made an investment in Aloha and will play in the 700 MHz market,” he said. “We want to have a network with global standards,” he added. AT&T plans to stick to its current plan and eventually migrate to a technology called Long Term Evolution (LTE), which promises download rates of 100 megabits per second and upload rates of 50 megabits per second for every 20 MHz of spectrum.

When asked about Google’s Android OS-based devices, de la Vega said that if his customers want those devices, AT&T will be happy to offer them that choice, much like any other OS-based phones.

6 Responses to “AT&T: Not Too Worried About Google Wireless”

  1. Hmm, ‘Android’, ‘Open Handset Alliance’ call me Yodic, but this is all starting to sound a bit Star Wars to me, perchance the first handset will be called the X-Wing or At-At and there’s sure to be room for some people of restricted height talking too loudly on public transport into Googlic transponders whilst dressed in Lucian bear suits?

    Google are late to the game and it’s all a little desperate, let’s listen in 12 months when all this hype about hype (clearly borrowed from the iPhone marketeers, which is and of itself akin to a surrogate child) shows some real results.

    All talk and no touchphone maketh for hottish air.

  2. Okay lets look at Google and what they do and overlap the 700MHZ spectrum.

    1. Their main business is advertising
    2. they have invested in Muni-wifi
    3. they have invested in Android
    4. they have invested in Fon
    5. they have invested in dodgeball.

    If you add all these things up, I don’t think that Google is looking to be a cellphone carrier. They are looking to provide a nationwide “google wireless network” that will be ad based and free.

    All they would need is a skype like company in their portfolio and they could have a lock.

    then 3rd party manufacturers will make google devices to use their network. they can use dodgeball tech to do location based services, use fon to make repeaters,

  3. I’m flummoxed. I don’t see where this fits into Google’s mission of organizing the world’s information.

    I understand there may be cash to burn through (as they may lose it to taxes, anyway) but surely, there are better uses for the excess cash on Google’s balance sheet.

  4. Some facts (or at least solid speculation).
    AT&T will bid on and win a major chunk of the Lower Band A and or B Block of 700Mhz spectrum, to fill in the holes in their Nationwide License-they own 72 License in the Lower Band C Block they got from Aloha. If they get real aggressive and want to totally dominate the Last Mile Broadband space (Wired and Wireless) they could very well gain some 40Mhz of Lower Band Spectrum and be able to deploy a true 4G network (in 2009/2010 and not have to wait for the LTE technology due in 2011/2012+.
    They really do not have to enhance their Cell Network that already dominates the Cell Broadband Data side of the market with HSDPA.
    It is Verizon Wireless that needs to win the Upper Band C Block in order to remain competitive to AT&T. VW will be the competitor to Google for the Upper C Block space, unless of course they shock everyone and team with Google on this Open Network.