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CDMA vs. GSM in Post-war Iraq 1439

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-like-a-free-market dept.
An anonymous reader submits: "Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is pressing congress to favor CDMA over GSM for mobile phone service in U.S.-funded reconstruction plans. One reason for pushing this is that a CDMA system would benefit American companies, such as California-based Qualcomm, while GSM would favor European companies. Currently, GSM is the most widely used mobile standard in surrounding countries."
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CDMA vs. GSM in Post-war Iraq

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  • My thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mpost4 (115369) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:46PM (#5612387) Homepage Journal
    I think for the benefit of the Iraq people it would be best to either, us the existing standard and what the surrounding countries use. But if they want some of the benefits of the CSMA as they say in the article, they should at lest do a dual implantation of it. Why? Well so the Iraq people can chose what standard they want, the one they don't go for will by default die away, I am sure they probably will not go for CDMA since it would not be useful outside for the boarders of Iraq. Can CDMA and GSM phones exist in the same area? That is the big question that could stand in the way of my idea. But this is all thinking and we should be consternating more on the war that is going on now then rebuilding, yes we also have to look at humanitarian aid now, but that is still different from rebuilding.
    • CDMA rocks! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nebbian (564148) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:55PM (#5612455) Homepage Journal
      I've had a CDMA phone for over two years now, and love it to death! There are a number of benefits, including longer range, lower amounts of microwaves hitting your skull, and so on.

      GSM phones can exist in the same area as CDMA, I know this for a fact because all my friends have GSM...

      What will probably happen is that the standard competitive environment will emerge anyway -- company A puts up GSM towers, company B puts up CDMA towers, and both try to convince the public that their system is better. Some people buy one system, some buy the other, based on what's important to that individual. This is, in my opinion, a much better system than relying on one technology -- and it's a system that will emerge without any form of legislation. Why can't political leaders just keep their noses out of it? :-)
      • Re:CDMA rocks! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ADRA (37398) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:10AM (#5613752)
        With the US "rebuilding the iraqi infrastructure", and effectively stating monopoly rights or the entire country despite their claims, this is another example of unilateral american thinking. I am sorry to be biased about you guys, but time after time you as a people prove me right.

        1. As for GSM vs. CDMA, no self respecting idiot would bring a CDMA phone to Europe, so only self serving people would choose CDMA over GSM.

        2. GSM may or may not be a better channel today, but GSM is the upgrade path to GPRS and UMTS, not CDMA.

        3. Having America as the monopoly, will other providers enter the country, and who soon after the reconstruction? In a fair playing field CDMA would die out very fast in Iraq. Having the US dictate a (wrong, selfserving) decision for CDMA would cause nobody but downturned American companies grief.
        • Re:CDMA rocks! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 1010011010 (53039)

          The "upgrade path" of GSM is... CDMA. Specifically, TD-CDMA and W-CDMA.
        • asshole (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ender Ryan (79406)
          You criticize Americans as a whole, then go on and say one technology should be used over another, without even talking about the technical merits of each one, and in fact, actually ignoring the apparent technical merits of CDMA.

          Personally, I don't give a rats ass either way, it's fucking phones for Christ's sake. I say build whatever would be best for the Iraqi people, screw everything else, because it's the right thing to do. But assholes from both sides of the pond will lobby for what they personally

          • Re:asshole (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Doomdark (136619)
            Furthermore, unilateral my ass! America + Great Britain + 40 other countries != unilateral. I could go on and criticize you Europeans as a whole, but I won't stoop down to your level.

            I agree in that criticizing americans as whole is unfair, but claiming that "coalition" is much more than just US is ignoring the facts. Only UK is sending significant amount of troops (Australia some), and rest are either good-weather friends that think it's beneficial (ie. they need US favours), or have right-wing leader

    • Re:My thoughts (Score:4, Informative)

      by KITT_KATT!* (322412) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:37AM (#5612750) Homepage
      > Can CDMA and GSM phones exist in the same area?


      Yes, of course. Most mobile networks in Australia are GSM but we also have CDMA because it's better in rural areas.


      And yes, someone on a GSM phone can talk to someone on a CDMA phone and vice versa, just like someone on a mobile can talk to someone on a land line.


      Seriously though, everything I've ever heard about American mobile phone networks seems really weird and backwards. I hear for example that the numbers are indistinguisable from land line numbers so the caller doesn't know they're calling a mobile and that consequently the recipient of the call pays for it. Elsewhere in the world the number is noticeably different and the caller pays. So I would personally be against the Americans setting up the mobile phone network in Iraq at all, whether it's GSM or CDMA! (On the other hand you guys are better at broadband so I'll let you take care of the cable roll out!) (Very magnanimous, I know! ;-))


      But yes, it seems a little trivial when we're still at war and people are dying.


      One question to ask would be: What was used in the reconstruction in Afghanistan?

  • If GSM is selected, then the terrorsts have already won.

    After all these years, you would think we would have grown beyond the same old game of 'empire'.
  • by Tax Boy (75507) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:50PM (#5612412)
    Before they're hatched. Can I be on the occupied Iraq new currency designing committee? More importantly, will occupied Iraq choose Direct TV or Dish Network as its standard?

    I can tell this esteemed Rep. has his priorities straight.
    • by sheldon (2322) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:13AM (#5612601)
      "Can I be on the occupied Iraq new currency designing committee?"

      Too late, the Bush Dinar has already been designed. [bizarsite.nl]

    • by Animats (122034) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:38AM (#5613132) Homepage
      Most countries that go into wars expect to win. In the event, half of them are wrong.

      There are many ways the US can lose this. For example:

      • Iraq succeeds in cutting the supply line to the spearhead approaching Baghdad, they run out of fuel and ammo, and surrender or die in place. That's a classic.
      • US troops get bogged down, the war drags on with high body counts, and US public opinion demands a pullout.
      • Other Arab countries join with Iraq, either militarily or in the form of an oil embargo.
      • Iraq really does have weapons of mass destruction and uses them.
      • North Korea makes their move on S. Korea and US troops have to be pulled out and moved to that theater.
      None of these scenarios are likely, but it's quite possible for the Administration to bungle its way into one or more of them. Quite a few US war plans have failed in this war. "Decapitation" didn't work, "Shock and Awe" didn't work, "Blitz to Baghdad" didn't work, and "Basra Revolt" didn't work. That's just the first week. Not a good record.

      Historically, when an initial attack is far less successful than anticipated but isn't a total failure, the result is a long, bloody campaign. In a long campaign, the scenarios above become more likely.

      Yet a Congressman is worrying about the cell phone industry in postwar Iraq. That's sick.

    • by mpe (36238) on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:52AM (#5614098)
      Before they're hatched. Can I be on the occupied Iraq new currency designing committee? More importantly, will occupied Iraq choose Direct TV or Dish Network as its standard?

      Given that the US has made so much fuss about bringing "democracy" to Iraq shouldn't it be the Iraqis who make decisions on how to rebuild their infrastructure?
      Of course left to their own devices they'd probably pick a system used by most of the planet. Rather than be stuck with something US specific. That's just from a practical position.
  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ken@WearableTech (107340) <ken AT kenwilliamsjr DOT com> on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:50PM (#5612415) Homepage Journal
    If this is going to be US funded I thinks it's okay to favor US companies even though I personally like/use GSM. If the money will be loaned to Iraq and later recouped via oil sales, etc. then GSM should be used. It's not like Sony-Ericsson is a French company!
    • Plus my GSM phone works fine in the DC area, NYC and in Knoxville, TN. If it gets shot down there are still plenty of US (and I assume, British) firms that can cover this.
    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by horza (87255)
      GSM was pushed through as a standard by the UK (under the guise of ETSI). I think we've earned the right to poke our nose in :-P

      GSM is standard in every country but the USA. I can SMS anyone anywhere in the world without any problem. GPRS can be tacked on at little cost to provide 2.5G services. The correct choice is clear. However, the US seems particularly vulnerable to lobby groups.

      Phillip.

  • They could forfiet their patent royalities on that technology which was originally developed for the military at taxpayers expense.
  • hah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lingqi (577227) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:51PM (#5612420) Journal
    I really hope this lays to rest any argument about the US going there to "save the civilians from Saddam's evil."

    Come on people, war hasn't even finished, and all they can think about is US cellphone company's benefits? what about FOOD, WATER, MEDICINE?

    sheesh...
    • Re:hah! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Ken@WearableTech (107340) <ken AT kenwilliamsjr DOT com> on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:53PM (#5612442) Homepage Journal
      FOOD, WATER, MEDICINE! Don't you know that free anytime minutes are the key to modern life?
    • Uhhh (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:55PM (#5612453)
      There's already that sort of aid on the way, and Bush wants another 8 billion or so to be spent on that in the first 6 months. That's not counting other private group charities. They have to look at all these different issues as part of rebuilding. It's like saying we shouldn't bother fighting the common cold until we've got cancer taken care of.
      • That's probably a really bad analogy you got there. Otherwise, it completely feeds into what the parent post is saying--the U.S. is only in it for the money, not unlike some pharmaceutical companies.

        No one ever died from a cold, but a cure for the common cold would be far more lucrative than a cure for cancer by the sheer fact that people get colds more often than they get cancer. But if you're actually interested in saving people's lives, we really should pursue the cure for cancer instead of the cure

    • Re:hah! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Azureflare (645778)
      What? They don't need food, or water, or medicine! They're poor people! They can survive on cardboard and sand! Sheesh, didn't you know that??? We all know how important cellphones are to life!!!! OMG I would die without my cellphone!!! And I don't eat any food either, I just take in my nutrients through osmosis!!

      Oh, and I'm also a plasmoid being from a distant solar system.

  • by mosch (204) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:52PM (#5612436) Homepage
    Seriously, this has to be a joke right? People aren't actually getting pissed about which cell phone technology may be used after we're done conquering Iraq are they?

    Seriously folks, in percentage of population, the US Military has already killed more Iraqi civilians than 9/11 killed Americans. Let's not worry about what cell phones the Iraqis will use after we win, and worry instead about whether or not it's possible for us to win.

    Peace. As salaam alaikum.

    • by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:33AM (#5612724)
      Seriously folks, in percentage of population, the US Military has already killed more Iraqi civilians than 9/11 killed Americans.

      The obvious response to this is: so what? Percentage of the population? That's a pretty meaningless metric.

      However, it's worth noting that you're actually correct... or may be, depending on how the numbers turn out.

      September 11 killed about 3,000 Americans, out of a population of about 280 million. (All figures are rounded, of course, because I'm just too lazy to look them up for an argument as ridiculous as this one.) That's 0.0011%.

      The Iraqi government claims that about 350 civilians have died during the war. Of course, they claim to have destroyed dozens of our tanks, too, so we know their claims are far from perfect. But let's go with the Iraqi number, just for kicks. There are about 25 million people in Iraq. That comes to 0.0014%. So by those numbers, you're right.

      However, we only have confirmation of about 25 civilian deaths in Iraq. That's going to be too low, obviously, because we don't have confirmation of every single civilian death, but just to put a bracket around the numbers, that comes to exactly 0.0001%.

      So whether or not there have been more Iraqi civilians killed as a percentage of total population than were killed on 9/11 remains to be seen; the percentages could be quite close, or they could be off by a factor of 10, depending on how the final math turns out.

      But this is all just an exercise in arithmetic. It means nothing. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, so we're not there to exercise vengance. And if we were, we would still have a long way to go, because Iraq would still be 2,650 civilians short of the mark.

      Let's not worry about what cell phones the Iraqis will use after we win, and worry instead about whether or not it's possible for us to win.

      Nobody has the slightest doubt that we'll win. This has been, by some interpretations, the most successful military campaign in history, and that includes the ratio of civilians killed per ton of ordinance employed. In other words, this has been the most benign war in history so far, and yet we're still virtually unopposed. Our biggest concern right now, apart from avoiding civilian casualties, is harassment from irregulars behind our front lines. The biggest campaign of resistance the Iraqi forces can mount against us right now qualifies as a nuisance, and not even a significant nuisance.

      There's no question that we're going to win.
      • September 11 killed about 3,000 Americans, out of a population of about 280 million.

        We might be reminded that nationals of dozens of other countries were killed on 9/11. Look it up if you don't believe. Like a couple of hundred "non-Americans". It was the WORLD TRADE CENTER for Crissake. Sixteen bloody Jamaicans died! What the hell did they do to anyone? Do the math on the % harm to Jamaica. It was crime against humanity to be sure. The massacre in Rwanda doesn't make two lines in the newspaper,

      • by 10Ghz (453478) on Friday March 28, 2003 @03:30AM (#5613638)
        Of course, they claim to have destroyed dozens of our tanks, too, so we know their claims are far from perfect.


        How come? I mean, so far things have been going something like this:

        Iraq: We shot down an Apache gunship!
        US: Nope, we haven't lost any helicopters
        Iraq: Well, here is a video-clip of that downed Apache
        US: Uhhhhh, yeah we did lose a helicopter

        Iraq: Our forces are still fighting in Umm Qasr
        US: Nope, Umm Qasr is secure
        Journalists: From what I saw, there's still fierce fighting going on there
        US: OK, OK. We are still fighting in Umm Qasr

        To me it seems that the Coalition denies or plays down any casualties or problems they face, untill they are proven to be wrong one way or the other. So when Iraq says they have destroyed dozen Abrams (we do know for sure that US has lost several tanks) and US denies it, I wouldn't take the word of US as gospel (I wouldn't take the word of Iraq as gospel either).
  • They're cell phone crazy. They're almost next door. What do they use, anyhow? Any Lebanese care to comment? Anyhow, this has got to be the most bizzare case of putting the cart before the horse that I've seen so far.
  • public good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by naoursla (99850) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:53PM (#5612440) Homepage Journal
    Which is better for the common good?
    1. Financial benefits for US companies
    or
    2. The ability for US citizens to use their cell phones internationally and foriegn visitors to use their cell phones here.

    Would the financial impact to US companies be short term? Would they benefit more from visitors paying for international roaming charges if they took the hit now?

    Is Congressman Issa trying to improve the local economy of his constituents or does he believe this is the best course of action for the country?

    Honestly, I have no idea.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:54PM (#5612452)
    Dammit, I spent a half hour on this. Oh well, here goes:

    According to an article [theregister.co.uk] in The Register, Congressman Darrell Issa (R, CA) [house.gov] is pushing hard for CDMA to be the cell network of choice for Iraq. Why? Because GSM(Groupe Speciale Mobile) is French, and he claims that the only source of GSM equipment would be French/German companies(except for, say, Lucent [lucent.com], Motorola [motorola.com], and Nortel [nortelnetworks.com])...and we all know how popular the French are [cleveland.com]. Putting aside concerns about winning the war first and having your priorities in order(such as getting food there, before worrying about aide workers having Enhanced 911), Issa claims(incorrectly [google.com]) that only CDMA offers GPS integration for E911. I'm sure the large campaign contribution by Qualcomm to Issa [opensecrets.org] has absolutely nothing to do with the bill [loc.gov]. Talk about people who need to be introduced to a cluebat [userfriendly.org].
  • Who didn't see this coming?

    Honestly, the opportunists will take anything they can get. Especially when they have the ear of our unpresident. I can't believe that corporate hounddog got into office...But I guess we have to live with it. Even if you don't care about the other countries, you have to admit that they have every reason to hate us. We would hate us if we were in their position. Truly, if you were being shoved out of every economic situation and opportunity by the world heavyweight, wouldn't

  • GSM Phones (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mike300zx (523956)
    I hafta say I love my Sony-Ericsson T68i GSM phone. You can just get alot more features with them than with other networks with the ability to do high-speed transfers. And when you combine it with the fact that the countries around there all use it and countries all over Europe do as well then for the people would have a more versatile phone. I'm all for Qualcomm with them being based here in my city and that I know many people who work for them. However, I think that perhaps this would be a good opport
  • Freedom System for Mobile communications, of course.
  • Competition or GSM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shylock0 (561559) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:57PM (#5612477)
    Generally speaking, it would probably make the most sense to allow something resembling competition. Barring that, I would vote for GSM. It has nothing to do with which is a better standard. The point is, the middle east is a relatively small region. Cell-phone interoperability would be a huge boon -- so it would be great if the whole region used one standard. Iraq is about the size of a mid-sized state. Imagine if you couldn't use your New York cell phone in Connecticut because of standards problems.
  • Cryptome [cryptome.org] is hosting more information on the whole rebuilding effort in Iraq. One such article is this one [cryptome.org] which is the text of a new york times article and two pdf's from USAID. Should be of interest to anyone who's following the whole Iraq war and is interested in the aftermath.

  • CDMA Bias by Issa (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidu (18) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:58PM (#5612485) Homepage Journal

    Is it a coincidence that
    Darrell Issa [house.gov] is the rep from the 49th district in California which is home to CDMA developer Qualcomm [qualcomm.com]?
    I THINK NOT.

    This is just another example of politics being influenced by corporate desires and lobbying.

    -davidu
  • GSM is a digital voice protocol with data services built on top of it. CDMA is a digital data protocol over which voice is one of the things you can send.

    CDMA has a lot of things going over GSM, technically-wise, which I'm not going to bother to get into, because I haven't had several years of education in data encoding and communications so I can't speak with any great deal of force, but I do know that CDMA offers high-bandwidth, very reliable service (assuming the network is built properly), it's a newer
    • > I'd like to be able to use the phone I have now and just get subscription or roaming

      Keep hoping, because CDMA networks are not set up for GMS-style portable accounts, and they don't use SIM cards. Yes, CDMA2000 has some more features (though it's NOT broadband, even though they like calling it 3G it's really only 2.5G like GPRS), but it bloody well should, considering how much newer it is. You can do a lot more signal processing in cheap silicon nowadays than back when GSM was designed in the 80s, and
  • Greedy Fingers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cdjfelton (569462) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:03AM (#5612533) Homepage
    I would feel much better if the US made the commitment to not have any economic interest in Iraq. There should be no US based company getting contracts for oil. Same goes for cell phone standards. KEEP YOUR GREEDY LITTLE HANDS OFF OF IRAQ! We are going to war with Iraq for the freedom of the people, not the plunder. Right?
  • In other news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RelliK (4466) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:04AM (#5612537)
    Before the US military even finished bombing Iraq, the contracts for rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure have already been awarded to US corporations. Among those corporations is Haliburton, where vice president Dick Cheney served as CEO. He is still on Haliburton's payroll and still owns 8 million of Haliburton's stock options.

    The more damage US military does to Iraq's infrastructure, the more money will US corporations make on rebuilding. US government is planning to use Iraqi oil to pay for this enterprise.

    • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

      by Milican (58140) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:14AM (#5612609) Journal
      "He is still on Haliburton's payroll and still owns 8 million of Haliburton's stock options."

      I'm sorry, but thats incorrect. The quote below with source proves it....

      "Cheney divested himself of all interest in Halliburton, the largest U.S. oilfield services company, after the 2000 election." CNN Money [cnn.com]

      Hope that helps clear things up :)

      JOhn
      • Re:In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:55AM (#5612868)
        What about interest in Halliburton owned by family members, golfing buddies and other fellow back-scratchers?

        What neither quote makes clear is that Cheney didn't think that maintaining stock options was a conflict of interest - he said words to this effect in public. It was only after a relatively large hoohaw in the press that he finally acquiesced. It is doubtful that he has changed his mind, divestiture was purely a face-saving political move. Given that, you can be pretty sure he (or rather his accountants) will have worked every angle and loophole to indirectly keep him "on the payroll" with Haliburton and who knows how many other companies.

        For another example of this kind of mindset, look at Richard Perle who, after a couple of weeks of denial-tactics finally became too much of a liability, just like the stock options, to keep around. This guy, former Bush Sr top-dog and until today a Bush Jr top-dog too, was given $700K to convince the DoD that it would be ok for Global Crossing to self off to the Chinese. Why? Because his official top-dog title was "Chairman of the Defense Policy Board," an advisory panel to the Pentagon - making close to, if not the civilian with the most influence over the DoD. Not to mention the even larger issue of his ties to arab-owned corporations. Conflict of interest? Not in any dictionary of his.

        This crony capitalism mindset is endemic in the current administration and as far as I am concerned is 100x more of a moral defect than boffing an intern or two, or even ten. Because instead of just screwing a few people, it screws most of the country for the benefit of just a few people. These guys (and democrats too, but they at least know enough to be embarrassed about it) have taken the term, "spoils system" to a whole new level.
      • Re:In other news (Score:5, Interesting)

        by loucura! (247834) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:10AM (#5612951)
        He still maintains options, and is paid yearly no matter the financial state of the company.
  • by ivi (126837) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:16AM (#5612619)

    If you leave the last big town, to go bush
    in Australia, you might as well leave your
    GSM handset behind, in favor of a CDMA unit.

    Cheaper than sta.phones, the CDMA had greater
    range (over flat terrain) & about the same
    air-time costs as GSM, here...

    So, that's the terrain of Iraq like, then?
  • by Radical Rad (138892) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:52AM (#5612850) Homepage
    If you don't know who Congressman Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.) is, a search turned up this link: http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/12/12/jdl.arrests/ [cnn.com] which explains among other things that
    • His district is along the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego where QUALCOMM is based.
    • He serves on a House subcommittee that deals with Middle Eastern affairs.
    • Jewish terrorists tried to blow up his offices soon after the September 11th attacks.
  • GSM is an aging standard. Code division multiplexing is the way of the future, and the engineers know this. It offers better reception, better capacity, and makes for a much better 3G infrastructure with mixed high-speed data/voice traffic.

    China is rolling out a WCDMA network, folks. Qualcomm isn't necessarily the flagbearer for the technology or the platform; it's no longer a US-only phenomenon.

    GSM will be phased out over the next decade, cohabitating with WCDMA, as peoples' handsets are replaced by shiny new models with ridiculous multimedia features they won't use for years. Check the market for dual-band WCDMA/GSM mobile phones and notice how many of the major manufacturers are producing them.

    Regretably, none of that matters to our friend, Mr. Issa. He and his backers are interested solely in making a quick buck. It's obvious to me that Iraq would be better served by allowing a privatized Iraq Telecom corporation to arise from the ashes of the old state-run telecom. Iraq Telecom should make its own decision about what kind of cellular technology to deploy, perhaps with the help of a US bank loan. That would be a minor boon for the US and a blissful telecommunications future for Iraq.

    But, honestly...what'd you expect, from a politician?
  • by EQ (28372) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:03AM (#5612915) Homepage Journal
    GSM? WHICH GSM? Africa, US or European frequency?

    GSM not as universal as most think.

    CDMA is head and shoulders above - look at where the highspeed wireless is going - CDMA, not GSM. Plus CDMA is more efficient in its bandwidth usage than GSM. Remember GSM is still TDMA at its roots. So CDMA has better spectral efficiency.

    Example: GSM provides 8 slots in a channel 200 kHz wide, while IS-136 provides 3 slots in a channel only 30 kHz wide. GSM therefore consumes 25 kHz per user, while IS-136 consumes only 10 kHz per user.

    Plus you should take into account the terrain and desnity - Iraq probably is not all that population dense outside of Baghdad and Basra. CDMA really comes into its element when you are out in the countryside with few sites covering large expanses of land. Under these conditions CDMA provides extremely stable audio with few frame errors to mess things up. This is because Channel Pollution is almost non-existent in these situations. Under similar conditions TDMA suffers too readily from interference and it will often blank the audio. Many people who use CDMA systems in sparsely populated areas have given this technology extremely high marks.

    Nex you should look at GPRS versus CDMA2000/1xRTT, and the costs to upgrade from these technologies to genuine 3G communications. Without going into the specifics, CDMA holds a slight advantage here as well.

    So despite the obvious political motivations behind this decision, technologically speaking, it s actually a good decision to favor CDMA.

    • by horza (87255) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:46AM (#5613882) Homepage
      GSM? WHICH GSM? Africa, US or European frequency? GSM not as universal as most think.

      It's very universal. Changing frequency doesn't mean having to change chipset design, infrastructure, etc.

      CDMA is head and shoulders above - look at where the highspeed wireless is going - CDMA, not GSM.

      They have different roots. GSM was specifically designed for voice data.

      Plus CDMA is more efficient in its bandwidth usage than GSM. Remember GSM is still TDMA at its roots. So CDMA has better spectral efficiency.

      TDMA vs CDMA was examined in depth in deciding the GSM standard. The committee decided that the TDMA system was superior (easier to build more accurate and reliable base stations was one of the factors IIRC).

      Plus you should take into account the terrain and desnity - Iraq probably is not all that population dense outside of Baghdad and Basra. CDMA really comes into its element when you are out in the countryside with few sites covering large expanses of land. Under these conditions CDMA provides extremely stable audio with few frame errors to mess things up. This is because Channel Pollution is almost non-existent in these situations. Under similar conditions TDMA suffers too readily from interference and it will often blank the audio. Many people who use CDMA systems in sparsely populated areas have given this technology extremely high marks.

      GSM is a compromise, which allows it to work well under both conditions. It had to satisfy all the members of ETSI, including Switzerland (sparse, all mountains) and Holland (totally flat, with large cities).

      So despite the obvious political motivations behind this decision, technologically speaking, it s actually a good decision to favor CDMA.

      It's not, because you restrict the technology (handsets, base stations, etc) to a couple of US companies. With GSM you can invite tenders from every company in the world, with an already mature market providing a lot of CHOICE for both handsets and infrastructure.

      Phillip.
    • by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:45AM (#5614073) Homepage Journal
      GSM not as universal as most think.

      Tell that to my 3 year old tri-band phone . Almost wherever I go (including most larger US cities) the first thing I do when I step of the plane is turn on my cellphone. And most of the time it'll pick up a provider that I can roam with immediately. It's so much more convenient than being without a cellphone or having to resort to renting one at ridiculous rates.

      Whatever technological advantages you might think of, there are a couple of huge advantages with GSM: There's a much larger production volume for GSM handsets (face it, Europe tend to get the newest handsets before the US, and we have a much wider selection), and with a decent handset you'd be able to use it in practically any country in the world (including other countries in the region).

      Considering the deployment of GSM it is clear that GSM is good enough, and that technical considerations therefore should be a secondary issue for most people considering building out a network - cost and convenience for the users should be much more important as that is what will drive sales.

      That said, I think the important part of this is the idea that the idead that the US should have any say whatsoever over what Iraq does when "liberated" is disgusting. The US lost all legitimacy when it violated the UN charter and attacked a sovereign nation, and any hope for the US in getting any sort of credibility back will be lost if there's even the slightest little hint of US colonialism after the war.

  • by tres (151637) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:24AM (#5613035) Homepage
    God, what a perfect representation of what is important to the bush administration. I thought Slashdot may actually avoid this type of propaganda called "reporting."

    Women and children are being killed. Our friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters are killing them/being killed, and what is the US media reporting? What do we hear about?

    Who makes the bucks from war.

    Never mind that has already taken a heavy toll on any US legitimacy (the founding principles of the nation itself are threatened to be as illegitimate as its current "president"). Never mind that it's at a cost of billions in tax dollars (that our children, and their children will be paying for). Never mind that it will cost thousands of lives before it is finished (and possibly hundreds of thousands of lives as the ranks of Al Qaeda grow). Never mind that it's barely even begun!

    Have you no decency? If you want to report on Iraq, report on something legitimate. Report on what's happening rather than the propaganda puff-pieces.

    Report on the 28 year old plumber who drowned after being ordered to cross a canal in full battle dress. Or the 20 year old lifeguard who drowned trying to save him.

    Report on the seven year old girl lying in a pool of her own blood, her intestines laying beside her.

    Report on the fact that the people of Iraq don't want to be "liberated." And that our friends and families will be the ones to pay the highest price of all because of the dreadful mismanagement and miscalculation of the bush administration.

    Fuck rebuilding. Fuck Saddam. There's an unjust war being wrought upon the innocent civilians of Iraq, as well as the innocent soldiers of the United States. This is not their war, this is the war of a few greedy people who don't even legitimately hold the positions they currently abuse.

    The bush administration has shown time and again that it has no care for legitimacy, or truth. From the moment the first Florida recount started, they have shown that they care only for protecting their own interests. They have never had the interests of the US in mind. They have never cared about those men and women who are suffering and dying right now.

    With a smug smile they say, "We will liberate you from your God, your money, and your dignity."

    • "Have you no decency? If you want to report on Iraq, report on something legitimate."

      You are correct in that there are more important things going on with Iraq right now than what cell-phone system they get. However, as ludicrous as this all might sound, it is still important: the cell phone system Iraq eventually chooses or has chosen for them will indicate not only the real motiations behind their 'liberation', but also what choices they have on any number of aspects of their future. They can expect
    • by superyooser (100462) on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:16AM (#5613982) Homepage Journal
      Report on the seven year old girl lying in a pool of her own blood, her intestines laying beside her.

      And everybody knows it was an accident. But okay, let's have it your way. Oh no, blood and gore! Let's end the war! Would ending the war end the suffering? Saddam would like us to pack up and go home so he could resume power and get back to the tyrant's regular business of inflicting suffering of a brutal and excruciating nature on his subjects; this kind of suffering as opposed to the comparatively few, inadvertent casualties due to the war.

      Having no war in Iraq allows persecution. Having this just war is causing suffering for a time, but will end most of the suffering in the long run.

      Horrible suffering like what you mentioned is imposed affliction du jour in Saddam's regime. Its torture methods include: [state.gov]

      • Medical experimentation
      • Beatings
      • Crucifixion
      • Hammering nails into the fingers and hands
      • Amputating the penis or breasts with an electric carving knife
      • Spraying insecticides into a victim's eyes
      • Branding with a hot iron
      • Committing rape while the victim's spouse is forced to watch
      • Pouring boiling water into a rectum
      • Nailing the tongue to a wooden board
      • Extracting teeth with pliers
      • Using bees and scorpions to sting naked children in front of their parents

      Report on the fact that the people of Iraq don't want to be "liberated."

      Nine in 10 Iraqis welcome US invasion [asia1.com.sg]

      With a smug smile they say, "We will liberate you from your God, your money, and your dignity."

      "You just arrived. You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious. I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave. [guardian.co.uk]" - liberated Iraqi

      Listen to the experience of a former human shield in Iraq [telegraph.co.uk]:

      The human shields appealed to my anti-war stance, but by the time I had left Baghdad five weeks later my views had changed drastically.

      ...
      I was shocked when I first met a pro-war Iraqi in Baghdad - a taxi driver taking me back to my hotel late at night. I explained that I was American and said, as we shields always did, "Bush bad, war bad, Iraq good". He looked at me with an expression of incredulity.

      As he realised I was serious, he slowed down and started to speak in broken English about the evils of Saddam's regime. ... It scared the hell out of me.
    • Legitmacy is not something you gain by going with the crowd.


      Report on the 28 year old plumber who drowned after being ordered to cross a canal in full battle dress. Or the 20 year old lifeguard who drowned trying to save him.

      Report on the seven year old girl lying in a pool of her own blood, her intestines laying beside her.

      Report on the man who kissed the Americans and asked them why they didn't come sooner. His son had made disparging remarks about Saddam so he was taken beaten, tortured, and final
      • Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

        Legitimacy makes all the difference.

        If the bush administration was actually working through the UN then I would be right there cheering this on. I am in no way a Saddam supporter, but I don't think that the US has any right to do this without the support of the United Nations and a real, legitimate coallition.

        Unless it is attacked first, the UN is the only organization which has legitimacy in addressing any problems that the US may have with another country. The bush
  • Right now ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by effad (131158) <effad@@@gmx...at> on Friday March 28, 2003 @03:59AM (#5613722) Homepage
    ... people are dying in Iraq. Soldiers and Civilians. The latter die of hunger, precision bombs lack of water, stray bullets and other such things.

    So here comes a US senator whose only concern is what mobile phone system one should install when it's all over. Quite frankly, this is so cynical. Not only against the iraq people but also against US soldiers. As a soldier, I'd really like to get the message: 'Go soldier, risk your life, so we can open up some market for mobile phones.'

    If some European politician made any such proposal or in fact any attempt to "secure a market" at this point in time he'd be thrown out of office.

    That is what makes people turn away from the US. The lack of tactfullness. Double standards (Yes, we respect the Geneva Convention - whenever it is useful to us). Turning one or two blind eyes (Who gave Saddam weapons of mass destruction when he was the bulwark against Iran?). The will to break international law whenever it serves the purpose.

    The rest of the world may be afraid of the US. But there is no respect.

    "Terrorism is the war of the poor and war is the terrorism of the rich. I can't see any difference between them."
    Sir Peter Ustinov, UNICEF
  • by Otis_INF (130595) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:05AM (#5613735) Homepage
    All this talk about electronical gadgets... millions of people in Iraq suffer every damn day because there is no water or too less water or only dirty water and not enough food.

    And the US of A can only talk about cellphones. I don't know but then you really are out of touch with reality. Give the iraqi people food and water and let them rebuild basic infrastructure first. This will cost a few years. After that the debates about the unnecessary gadgets can begin.
  • "most widely used" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jens (85040) <jens-slashdot@@@spamfreemail...de> on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:19AM (#5613996) Homepage
    "CDMA system would benefit American companies, such as California-based Qualcomm, while GSM would favor European companies. Currently, GSM is the most widely used mobile standard in surrounding countries."

    Don't you love half-truths when you see 'em? GSM is not only the most widely used standard "in surrounding countries", it's the most widely used standard, period.

    GSM: 330 million world wide users
    CDMA: 67 million world wide users

    But, it seems more important to purchase national patriotic technology than good technology. (That must be why Americans still use Windows. After all, Linux originates in Europe and must so be inferior, by definition. ;)
    Let's buy steel from US companies, even if it's more expensive because they neglected to modernize their factories (in Europe, just about everything was rebuilt after WW2 - and the debts for foreign help, also from the US, have long since been paid. It was a very painful process, but it paid off). And because foreign steel is now cheaper and better, phone George to introduce some nice import taxes.

    Forget that the white "paint" which is used for most national buildings (eg. white house) is made in Germany. Forget that most of the cars that run the US are produced in Germany or by German companies. (BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, anyone?). Forget that under the hood of most cars made in the US you see European labels like Bosch, Siemens, Philips, etc.

    While you're at it, ban not only french fries, french toast, and french kissing, but also french red wine (which might be considered a merciful fate for the wine, considering that Americans mix it with Coke!). And all that just for the fact that - understandably - most of Europe has a problem with war, for any reason whatsoever. It's even in the German constitution: Germany is not allowed to participate in non-defensive warfare. The constitution which was written by the US after WW2.

    I'm waiting for the USA to ban Hamburgers, which originate from Hamburg (the 'ham' story is a myth!), Franfurters, Schnitzel, Mortadella, etc.

    I remember a quote from a demonstrant in the US: "If we had invested the money now spent in war in proper education soon enough, the war wouldn't even have started."

    Right.

  • READ THIS (Score:3, Informative)

    by upside (574799) on Friday March 28, 2003 @06:24AM (#5614198) Journal
    Open http://www.gsmcoverage.co.uk/coverage.html and click on Iraq

    Core points:

    1. There already is a limited GSM network in Iraq, KurdTel 900
    2. The Iraqi government has ordered a GSM network to be installed, but UN sanctions have delayed it
    3. gsmcoverage.co.uk has this article on the subject:

    Plans to deploy a CDMA network in Iraq (28-Mar-03)

    The California, USA, Congressman Darrell Issa has initiated a campaign to promote CDMA as the technology of choice for any future mobile phone network in Iraq. He has written to U.S. Agency for International Development demanding that the American CDMA system be used in preference to a system that he considers inherently European, and specifically French.

    His letter harks back to the older, and long abandoned name for GSM - Groupe Speciale Mobile, presumably for its French language overtones, as opposed to Global System for Mobile Communications, its anglophile name today. He says that if "European" GSM technology is deployed in Iraq, much of the equipment used to build the cell phone system would be manufactured in France, Germany, and elsewhere in western and northern Europe. Furthermore, royalties paid on the technology would flow to French and European sources, not U.S. patent holders.

    He seems to be under the impression therefore that Motorola has no interest in bidding for a GSM infrastructure contract - nor would Lucent, or Canada's Nortel Networks. This may well concern the shareholders of those companies who would be expecting them to bid for any available contracts.

    He also says that CDMA phones incorporate GPS location technology, which may be a surprise to the vast majority of cell phone owners who will be hunting through their handset manuals looking for this function. His legitimate concern is that relief workers could be kidnapped or attacked, and a location aware handset would then enable them to be found. However, inserting GPS into a cell phone is nothing to do with whether it is GSM or CDMA - but down to the handset manufacturer simply implementing a location based solution. Also, GPS is not the only solution for locating a cell phone, network based solutions exist that can be deployed on both technology platforms. The fact that a GPS handset will be able to give its location anywhere in Iraq is pointless if the phone is out of cellular coverage though.

    Of course, the greatest irony could be that a CDMA network is deployed - and Nokia wins the bulk of the handset sales contracts. Ironic, as Nokia, one of the "northern Europe" companies that Issa wants to block from working in Iraq makes CDMA handsets, but uses its own proprietary chipsets and doesn't pay royalties to Qualcomm.

    It may be worth noting that Congressman Issa represents San Diego, hometown of Qualcomm who owns the CDMA technology used in cell phones. Also, in January, the US government's, National Communications System (NCS) awarded a priority connection contract, ensuring phone service would be unaffected by network congestion to T-Mobile, a GSM network.
  • GSM is not French (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lga (172042) on Friday March 28, 2003 @06:52AM (#5614278) Homepage Journal

    GSM may be an an abbreviation for French words, but GSM is a global standard originally designed by a group of European companies and organisations. Loads of countries were involved, not just France.

    This argument that French products shouldn't be used is racist. I know Americans like their country, but this is racism and xenephobia on a huge scale. Shame on you all.

    Finally, who gave the USA permission to build this stuff? Privatising the services in Iraq doesn't benefit them, and definately isn't democracy - it's THEFT. The services and infrastructure belongs to Iraq and after they have a democratic elected government the choice of how to run public services belongs to them.

    Please note that I am not against Americans in any way, but your government really pisses me off.

  • by wytcld (179112) on Friday March 28, 2003 @10:03AM (#5614917) Homepage
    There's an implicit belief behind most of the anti-American, anti-war comments here that only pure motives are good - that if you have more than one motivation for an action, and some of those motivations are of economic benefit to you, then the entire action is tainted.

    But consider what's at play here: 9/11 demonstrated that American cities are vulnerable to catastrophic attack by terrorists. At that point it was prudent to ask what nations are in the position of being (1) run by sociopaths with a record of mass killings which (2) have or can afford to acquire catastrophic weapons and (3) are in ideological or religious proximity to those with demonstrated terrorist abilities. The whole claim of the Bush administration is that it is legitimate self-defense to remove such threats to our cities.

    Saddam is a sociopath who has killed many hundreds of thousands. It is extremely unlikely this war will kill more Iraqis than Saddam's own forces would have killed this year anyway ... and each year after that he had stayed in power. He has worked to acquire vicious weapons in the past, and has the wealth to buy nukes from elsewhere (impoverished North Korea, for example). If he were to plant a few of those nukes in US cities, then set off one as an example while, say, invading Saudi Arabia, would we be willing to sacrifice more cities to stop him? Or do you think he's too nice a guy to enter into such a scenario?

    Given the overwhelming historical logic that requires that we act against him now - not in a couple of years after he's got things set up to his best advantage - is there something evil about our being concerned that in return for the vast cost of this action to us in lives and treasure that we receive some small economic opportunities afterwards? If the US finances a new phone system after the war, should we do it to French specs? This level of "purity" would be absurd, IMHO.
  • GSMA replies. (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Cydonian (603441) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:56PM (#5616380) Homepage Journal

    Don't know if this is in duplicate, but here's the full text [unstrung.com] of the GSMA's reply.

    Nice read, I might add, especially the bit about an American company installing a GSM network in (US-bombed) Afghanistan.

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