updated 01:00 pm EST, Tue February 16, 2010
Google CEO takes stance on mobile net neutrality
Google chief Eric Schmidt at his Mobile World Congress speech today refuted claims that his company is reducing cellular networks to a "dumb pipe." After being accused of hurting carriers by promoting net neutrality and fostering platforms like Android, the executive said he fundamentally disagreed with the premise and that, by necessity, Google needed a degree of control on the network. Carriers need to balance their network load and provide an ideal environment, Schmidt explained.
He added that Google's primary concern is choice of services, not quality. Customers on multiple carriers should have access to the same video, for example, but that the operators should have the option of adjusting quality or other factors if bandwidth is a problem. Responding to RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis' calls for phone vendors to control bandwidth as is done on the BlackBerry, Schmidt noted that Google can help control bandwidth use in its apps but that this depends on carriers giving it information.
Google won't build networks of its own on a broad level, he said, alluding to the 1Gbps Google Fiber project that some carriers fear could replace their own business.
On the current app market, the CEO further noted that his company never wants to make a given software feature Android-exclusive and usually wants them on "all" platforms. Special apps like Google Maps Navigation and Goggles are only available on Android so far, but the company has previously said it would like iPhone versions of these and others when possible.
Regardless of app availability, Android is doing well for the company and has now reached a tally of about 60,000 phones shipped per day, or twice as much as just a quarter ago.