"I do have to say, I think I probably did it," laughed Ballmer, pointing out Telstra had already demonstrated the devices involved (which will launch in early 2009) to him privately.
"[Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo] wondered
whether we were competing for all those years and we finally got
things in constructive partnership and I went and ruined the first
21Mbps wireless demonstration ever. You're going to wonder about
me again Sol I'm pretty sure," the Microsoft supremo added, referring to a partnership unveiled yesterday between his company and Telstra.
The telco has been upgrading its Next G network from its current
14.4 Mbps to 21Mbps, work which it hopes to finish by the end of
this year. However, despite the high maximum theoretical speeds of
the network, until now, devices have only been able to achieve
speeds of 7.2Mbps.
The telco had recently announced that it was working together
with Sierra Wireless, Qualcomm and Ericsson towards bringing out a
faster device. Now Telstra will enjoy the fruits of the
collaboration, with what it calls "the world's fastest mobile
device" set to come out early next year.
When asked about when handsets might come out capable of 21Mbps
speeds, Trujillo was coy. "That's clearly on the road map," he
"We're not only working with companies like Sierra and working
on the dongle data card side of things, but we're also working
with the companies that are in the handset side of things," he
said. "Yes we will have devices ... but I'm not going to tell you
when, because we like competing to win."
Later on this afternoon Ballmer will address an audience of software developers and Microsoft partners at Sydney's Darling Harbour conference centre; the speech will be broadcast live on ZDNet.com.au from 3:30pm AEST.
Tomorrow the executive is slated to address a business lunch hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.