CTIA - Ballmer disses Google on wireless plans

Microsoft CEO says company has no plans to compete with carriers

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Tuesday, in a swipe at rival Google, that his company does not have any plans to bid on wireless spectrum in January, because being a wireless carrier goes beyond its core competency.

Ballmer made the comments in a question and answer session that followed his keynote address before the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2007 convention in San Francisco.

"Contrary to our competition, at the end of the day we think we have a core competence and we think the telecom service provider industry has a core competence," Ballmer told Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA - The Wireless Association, which is hosting 15,000 attendees at the event.

It takes considerable expertise and capital to start a network, maintain it and provide customer service to subscribers, Ballmer said, and Microsoft thinks a better course is to partner with service providers to deliver its Microsoft Windows Mobile wireless software platform.

"So what would it do us to own a piece of spectrum? It would probably do a lot to alienate the telecom industry," Ballmer said.

That drew a burst of applause from one person in the front row, Paul Riordan, president and CEO of Cellcom, a small regional wireless provider based in Green Bay, Wisc.

"We're looking for partners who aren't in competition with us, and I think you'll find there is a lot of concern about that," said Riordan, who is also on the CTIA board.

"For Microsoft to say we're going to partner with you, we're not going to compete against you, is a great thing to hear," he said.

The Federal Communications Commission is going to supervise an auction in January of 62MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz band. The spectrum is ideal for long-range wireless telephone and broadband services, with signals that travel up to four times farther than in higher-spectrum bands.

Google sent a letter to the FCC chairman in July stating that the company will commit a minimum of US$4.6 billion toward the auction, but only if certain conditions are met. Google spelled out those conditions in an earlier filing with the FCC.

However, beyond that, Google hasn't confirmed publicly that it is going to bid.

The CTIA convention runs through Thursday.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert Mullins

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?