Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Network World.
AT&T is taking a long, hard look at letting Android-powered devices connect to its network, according to the company’s mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega.
During a media luncheon at the CTIA Wireless show Wednesday, de la Vega said AT&T recently met with Google executives for an in-depth briefing on how the carrier could develop and install its own applications and features onto Android-powered devices. He said that while the company still had some work to do before allowing Android devices onto its network, he believed that the platform would be something AT&T would want to incorporate into its portfolio.
“I was concerned that maybe they were only going to suggest Google applications,” said de la Vega, describing his initial skepticism of Android. “But they’re going to open it up and allow us to customize the device specifically for our customers, so I’m more impressed than ever. If it’s a good option for our customers, we’re going to offer it just like we offer other operating systems.”
AT&T so far is the only wireless carrier in the United States that has yet to explicitly embrace Android. Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said last year that his company planned on supporting Android-based devices on its network, and both Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile are charter members of Google’s Open Handset Alliance, a multinational group dedicated to promoting Android and open-access wireless networks.
Android is a Linux-based open platform for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and some key mobile applications. The idea behind the platform, according to Google, is to spur innovation in developing mobile applications that will give users the same experience surfing the Web on their phone as they currently have on their desktop computers.