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CTIA 2011: Sprint & AT&T Spar in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2011 -- BIFF! BANG! POW! The handbags were out between AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) at the opening keynote of the fall CTIA show Tuesday morning.

Current CTIA Chairman and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse got his jab in early, saying that noted actor and assassin, John Wilkes Booth, "looks a lot like" AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega. Booth -- for those readers not up on their post-American Civil War history -- was the man who shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater, in Washington, D.C., in 1865.

AT&T's de la Vega jabbed back at Hesse as he took the convention center stage just minutes later. He described the Booth reference as a compliment considering it came from "the guy who is the best actor we have in wireless today."

Both men had actually come to talk about more serious wireless topics: Hesse spent time on the greening of the industry and the need to stop distracted driving, while de la Vega focused on using wireless for better collaboration between partners and industries.

The sparks that flew between the two, however, drew far more laughs -- and gasps -- from the capacity crowd in the auditorium.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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