Mobile phone fallout of War in Iraq

As the US, the UK, and their "coalition of the willing" are embroiled in the war against the Iraqi regime, the politicians are starting to think about the post-war Iraq money rush.

This week, Representative Issa (CA) started to propose that US rebuilding funds for Iraq should not be used to construct a GSM network in Iraq. Is anyone surprised that Rep. Issa is:

  • Representing San Diego (home of Qualcomm, inventors of CDMA, the standard he is pushing)
  • The immediate past president of the Consumer Electronics Association

It certainly didn't surprise me.

Now, many of you may know that I have a bias in this situation. First, I don't like Qualcomm. Second, I am very fond of GSM, especially in that it has encryption always on when you are communicating and is used by over 70% of the world.

Despite Rep. Issa's complaints that GSM is French and CDMA is 'merican, his contention that CDMA is acknowledged as superior is not true.

Arguably, if he were just trying to make sure that the Iraqi's had the best phone system money could buy, he'd be installing one of the Japanese standards, as they are leading the way in technology. However, their standards are incompatible with everybody.

More reprehensible than this obvious play to get his political coffers filled by a local company is the fact that he is doing it while men, women, and children (on the Iraqi side) are still dying to get this war won.

Mr. Issa, get the war over with first, and then let a free Iraq decide how it wants to build its phone system.