View Full Version : Bahrain based TelCo installs Cell Phone system in Baghdad

Jul 24, 2003, 01:48 AM
Link (http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-2945122,00.html)

With the Iraqi phone system in shambles and no cellular service other than temporary networks for military and aid officials, the U.S.-led administration plans to start seeking bids next week for three wireless phone networks serving most of Iraq.

So it came as a surprise to U.S. officials this week when foreigners in Baghdad found themselves suddenly able to get service on their cell phones from Bahrain Telecommunications Co.

The company, known as Batelco, boldly spent $5 million in the past five weeks setting up its own wireless network in Baghdad without seeking permission of the U.S.-led occupation authority.

Although details have yet to be revealed about the wireless contract U.S. administrators in Baghdad will seek, the executive said instability in Iraq and the poor communications infrastructure could also discourage bids.

On top of that, the authority has said it will require that the winners of the contracts pay an undisclosed ``small'' fee.

Significant that one of the most important acts of reconstruction, the phone system, has still not been put out to bid. Also, that Bremer obviously doesn't know what is going on in Iraq as well as reluctance by companies to do anything with such a short contract (two years) and that the "authority" is going to charge a fee. What's up with that? The US is not in Iraq to make money but to, well, what's this week's justification for the war?

Is it any wonder they can't find Saddam when they can't even tell that a new wireless phone system has been installed?

It IS good news to hear that an Arab country is getting involved in the reconstruction and that it is taking an enormous gamble.

Jul 24, 2003, 10:09 AM
wow, that's pretty funny. i'm glad they're using the GSM standard. once upon a time, some US companies wanted to install a CDMA system, but that's principally (or maybe even exclusively) a US standard.

will bremer tolerate it? or will the new network start experiencing "problems?"