VIDEO INTERVIEW: Glenn Lurie, president & CEO at US operator AT&T Mobility, brushed aside speculation the operator is interested in M&A in India, as he shed more light on the firm’s ambitious 5G and IoT plans.
In May it was reported that AT&T may be interested in re-entering India.
“We’re linked to a lot of places, and we’re always looking, and the key… is that we’re a very global company, we have very global customers, and we need to have those relationships and those partnerships in, really, every country in the world to help deliver a great experience for our customers whether outside the US, or vice versa,” he said.
Lurie spoke to Mobile World Live while attending Mobile World Congress Shanghai two weeks ago. His appearance in China led to inevitable questions around AT&T’s possible plans for expansion in Asia. “I think what brings us here is… we’re a global carrier,” he commented. “We have customers that expect to have a great experience no matter where they go in the world, so we obviously have tremendous relationships with the carriers here, in China. In fact, we’re the oldest telecom carrier to be doing business in China.”
He explained that AT&T does business with nearly every enterprise on the Fortune 1000 and many of them have a presence in China, while there are a lot of Chinese companies becoming successful in the US.
Speaking about 5G, he said the US’ second largest mobile operator had been relatively muted on the subject twelve months ago because it didn’t want to create hype and then over promise and under deliver, as he believes the industry has done in the past.
Earlier this year the company announced 5G trials in Austin, Texas.
“5G is fun to talk about, and what we’ve said recently is that we’re absolutely going to test and trial… The key for us is to learn. The key for us is to prepare our network for 5G.”
Lurie also commented on the FCC’s plans to secure spectrum for 5G services, describing the US as “on the right track” in its efforts to lead global deployment.
Meanwhile he described the future of the car as “a smartphone with four wheels,” intelligent enough to communicate with other vehicles in order to reduce the number of accidents.