Congressman defends bill to require CDMA in Iraq

Justin Mason jm at
Wed Apr 9 17:48:49 PDT 2003

James Rogers said:
> Speaking of GSM itself, I think the "standardization" is oversold, never
> mind that Europe is slowly making the move to CDMA technologies.

Eh?  Are they?   Do you mean 3G?

> I've owned
> GSM phones for many years.  The only thing nice about them was the removable
> GSM chip, but just about everything else about them pretty much sucked.

Can't comment, never owned a CDMA phone to compare....

> I
> no longer have a GSM phone because I can still roam the bloody continent and
> I get better service to boot using other protocols.  Quite frankly, I don't
> think the world at large has a huge need for global telecom standardization;
> telecom only really needs to be standardized regionally.  CDMA is more than
> sufficiently "standard" to be a reasonable solution.

Believe me, it's been nice to roam around Europe, SE Asia and Australia,
sending the occasional SMS with my trusty GSM phone.  Standardization of
mobile technologies *is* nice.

Of course, the phone is now living switched-off in a drawer because CDMA
rulez over here in the US.

> So yes, the standardization of GSM is worth about a nickel to the average
> Iraqi.  The cost savings of having a modern CDMA system as opposed to a
> decrepit GSM system will be significant over the long run.  In five years
> when the rest of the world is using CDMA-based systems, I doubt the Iraqis
> will be particularly happy that they have an almost new TDMA system that
> they just paid for.  If you are going to do it, at least do it right.  When
> putting in new infrastructure it is generally a better idea to standardize
> on what the standard will be tomorrow (CDMA) rather than what the standard
> was yesterday (TDMA/GSM).

Alternatively, when rebuilding a shattered infrastructure, with little
cash, it might be worth using whatever you can afford.


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