HB Are the main challenges to that technical or political and economic?
TRUJILLO All of the above. Technically, that is hard work but solvable. Politically, it's a matter of another company wanting to let you create a good experience for a customer in their part of the world. My reaction is, "Well, they have customers who come into my part of the world." And if we make a reciprocal [agreement], the end of the day, it's a matter of who does a better job with their customers. Why make the customer go through pain because you're not as good as the competitor next door?
I'm not afraid of competing, because I know we'll out-compete, out-innovate, out-execute, out-do them. So I'm willing to execute that sort of [agreement]. Let's step in the ring. Let's not make the customers pay any price or penalty. If [the other company] is better and takes away my customers, that's life. But if I'm better and I take your customers, that's the way life is, too.
So we have to go through that. Then sometimes you have to look at costs, to your point about economics. We look to see what's fair compensation. For me, everything's about business. Not emotion. I mean, I get passionate about our customers, I get passionate about what we can do, but at the end of the day, you have to look at it as a business person - very objectively.
HB Getting back to the simplicity of the device. That's one side of it. What I've experienced is it's still a very slow connection. That gets back to the 3G technology. Are you still going to pursue that as a growth strategy and roll out that service?
TRUJILLO 3G is going to play out globally in the next three to four years.
HB Europe seems ahead of the U.S. on that.
TRUJILLO It is to an extent, but that doesn't mean it will be three years from now. There are early deployments in Europe, but actually Japan is ahead of the rest of the world.
NTT Docomo has deployed in Japan the first 3G network. They deployed about two years ago, and they have only a couple hundred thousand customers. They have a huge customer base.
What they experienced is that the technology was not quite ready. Most of us are used to stuff working really well when it comes to telephony, whether it's fixed-line or wireless. We've been spoiled. The people who manage technology in the telecommunications industry are the best in the world. So we've been spoiled as consumers. When 3G rolls out, it's not quite ready. Handsets don't work well. Hand-offs don't work out. If I have service from Docomo, will it work when I go somewhere else? The answer is no, not today.
A lot of that kind of stuff has to be worked out. It's going to take the next two or three years. But I can tell you in Europe, all the players have definitive plans for the next two or three years in terms of rolling it out. Then the game gets exciting again because the primary gain from 3G from a customer's standpoint is higher bandwidth. Higher speeds. Now you can add the video kind of services to your portfolio of capabilities.
I have people who work in my company today - young, married, in their 20s or early 30s - and they work hard. If you work in Orange, you work hard. We have picture messaging capability. Let's say you're here today at work, and you have a wife and young children, and one of your kids has a big soccer (football, they would say in Europe) match today. And you're not there because you're here.
Some of these people are so good with the technology that the spouse will attend the game and take photo images. The phones are simple - you point it like a camera and take a picture. Then you attach a short message and send it.
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