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11/6/2007
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Google's Android Is Creating Some 'Strange Bedfellows'

CTIA and Public Knowledge, normally on opposite sides on wireless issues, are each hailing Google's mobile phone brainchild -- for very different reasons.

The Android mobile platform unveiled by Google Monday is demonstrating that politics is not the only phenomenon that creates strange bedfellows. Washington lobbying associations CTIA and Public Knowledge, normally on opposite sides on wireless issues, are each hailing Google's mobile phone brainchild -- for very different reasons.

Formerly known as the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, CTIA -- which refers to itself as "The Wireless Association" -- has hailed the Open Handset Alliance's Android effort because it proves that "net neutrality" rules aren't needed; Public Knowledge likes Android for its openness.

"This project shows the value that most of the wireless world places on opening up cell phones and wireless services," said Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn in a statement. "The FCC, and leading American cellular companies, should take notice and realize that this trend is one they will not be able to stop."

"Public Knowledge, along with other members of the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition," Sohn said, "asked in the FCC's 700-MHz proceeding that the commission require open services and handsets, and supported the petition filed by Skype which asked the FCC to allow any device to be connected to any existing cellular services, assuming the network is not harmed."

The CTIA's president and CEO Steve Largent said he likes the idea that consumers will have another operating system to choose from.

"If ever there was evidence that so-called 'net neutrality' rules were not needed, today's news is it," Largent said in a statement immediately after the public unveiling of Android. "Because the government has never dictated a single technology or business model, companies big and small are constantly entering the wireless marketplace to put forward innovative mobile products and services that consumers want and need."

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