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.