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SBC’s Whitacre Discusses Web Plans At CES

SBC Communications’ CEO Ed Whitacre gave his first-ever talk at International CES , here, as part of the show’s Industry Insider series.

Whitacre said it had taken him too long to involve SBC in CES. He cited SBC’s 100-year tradition of not talking about a project until it was up and running as one reason why he always shied away from CES, a venue where companies tended to present their vision of the future.

“CES is knows for its eye-opening shows, SBC for its more earnest achievements like a million miles of wire and 1 billion phone calls connected per day,” he said.

Whitacre gave an overview of the various consumer projects SBC is involved with, including increasing Internet bandwidth, and he unveiled the company’s new U-verse consumer services brand.

U-verse is a new set of IP-based voice, data and video services. These will include IPTV, a service delivering TV programming and video-on-demand. In its ultimate incarnation, U-verse will allow people to be constantly in touch with their various communication and entertainment products. This will include programming their DVR via cellphone, or instant updates of contact information across all communication devices.

The IP software is now being tested in the United States by SBC, but Whitacre said there is no doubt that it works because it is up and running in other countries.