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 newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert Mullins

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?