MWC 2011: Schmidt says EU ‘a group I can work with’

Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt, chief executive (CEO) of Google, praised the European Union's approach to getting as many people connected with decent broadband in the near future.

During his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress 2011, Schmidt did not discuss the difference between countries' approaches but said the EU was looking forward in the right way.

"The European Government always thinks ahead," he said. "EU targets [with] broadband for everyone by 2013 that's good."

"It wants 50 per cent of households to have over 100Mbps by 2020 this is a group I can work with [as] they recognise the importance of connectivity [and] the way we live, work and play."

However, the CEO did criticise the reallocation of spectrum which needed to be used to move the likes of wireless technology and Long Term Evolution (LTE) forward.

purpose now," he said.

"It is occurring too slowly we need to recognise that most people will operate with 3G, 4G and wireless."

Nokia offer remains open'

Schmidt did not hide his disappointment about losing out on the Nokia deal to Microsoft which he deemed his company's biggest competitor, Microsoft.

However, it seems the CEO held no ill-will and hoped Nokia would change its mind in coming years.

"We would have loved if they had chosen Android [but] they chose the other guys," he said.

"We would like them to adopt Android in the future and that remains open. We are sorry they made a different choice but we hope they will use [Android] in the future."

With your permission

A lot of Schmidt's keynote was focused on new technologies allowing services to be more personalised. However, with every utterance of words raising the privacy debate, he added "with your permission."

He claimed services letting your friends know where you were or helping monitoring healthcare would be of a great benefit to society but reiterated towards the end of his speech that privacy was an important and tough issue.

"Most people trust brands that are trustworthy, so if you offer something of value[and] they think you are going to be straight with them and have good privacy [rules] they will adopt," said Schmidt.

"We are not trying to damage privacy we are trying to give them choices. There is not a single answer as sometimes [privacy] is the most important thing but then there are things like national security."

He added: "As long as we are side with with your permission' people will adopt and regulation will be on our side."

We love Twitter'

Schmidt would not be drawn into a long conversation about the rumours surrounding a Google buy-out of Twitter but the CEO still refrained from denying any attempt of an offer.

Instead he quickly sang the praises of the microblogging site with a smile on his face.

"We love twitter and I like to tweet," Schmidt concluded.

'I-Dessert' OS coming in six months

Finally, Schmidt revealed a few tiny morsels about the next update to the Android platform.

Unsurprisingly, the name will follow in the usual pattern, beginning with I' and being named after a dessert.

However, he did reveal the current model for mobiles, Android Gingerbread, and the tablet optimised Honeycomb would be merged into one and used across both handset and tablet platforms.

This new update will be available in-line with the usual update cycle of six months.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.