SAN FRANCISCO – T-Mobile USA has jumped on the Android bandwagon in a big way.
The carrier was the first in the U.S. to get an Android handset, which arrived in the form of the G1 from HTC. Since then, T-Mobile has upped its Android portfolio with the myTouch 3G and the HTC Touch Pro2. And just yesterday, T-Mobile announced that it will get exclusive rights to Motorola’s Android device, the Motorola Cliq.
Cole Brodman, chief technology and innovation officer with T-Mobile USA, took time for a Q&A at the GigaOM Mobilize ’09 conference.
Brodman reiterated T-Mobile’s emphasis on Android, saying that he would rather facilitate the Android Market with billing and app discovery solutions than open a devoted T-Mobile-branded app store.
“What we’d really prefer to do is what we’re doing with Android, and work within an existing application environment,” he said, adding that T-Mobile would like to help make carrier billing and discovery of apps easier through collaboration with Google.
Brodman said that he likes Android because it allows customers to personalize their handsets. “I’m much more interested in an Android environment where users can choose their wallpapers and tailor the device to their own needs, as opposed to an environment where everything looks the same.”
Beyond Android, Brodman was frank about T-Mobile’s plans to finish a complete 3G rollout before worrying about upgrades, although he did say upgrades in the form of HSPA+ are not far off. He also said LTE would be the carrier’s choice of next-generation networks but expressed a “first-things-first” attitude in terms of a timeline for such plans.
In final comments, Brodman answered questions regarding T-Mobile’s position on services like Skype that the other major carriers have typically relegated to Wi-Fi-only status. Expressing a rather tolerant view, Brodman said that his only concern regarding VoIP services was that the voice quality was not up to the carrier’s standards.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile yesterday began offering a limited-time additional $100 discount on the myTouch 3G. Customers who want to get the myTouch 3G for $99.99 can do so by going to T-Mobile’s Web site and entering the promotional code, KICKOFF24, at checkout.