AT&T Mouth of Sauron Speaks!

Engdget Mobile scored an interview with Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility. Our favorite carrier CEO (for recently telling Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Nokia's CEO, and Euro-haters that "99.5 percent of the industry is trying to copy the iPhone"), shot from the hip on a wide range of issues, including AT&T outages, reports of iPhone reception problems, the success of the App Store, and the competitive landscape now that Google and Palm are (back) in the game.

Perhaps the best news for iPhone users on AT&T? He anticipates future firmware updates will continue to increase reception and reliability:

They're continuously looking for, and we communicate with Apple and say, you know, if we tweak this it would work better, so they've been very good about working with us and making sure that as we look at things to do the drop calls there, they're going to implement it.

Strangely, no word on dropping data rates or throwing in tethering gratis...