The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Monday, October 6

iraq goes cellular

The long awaited licenses for cellular service in Iraq were awarded today. Both of the Kuwaiti groups have a history of working with Nokia, Motorola, and Siemens. Interest in expanding cellular service into Iraq was running parallel to the build up to the war.
Iraq said on Monday it had awarded three, two-year GSM mobile phone network licenses to Arab consortia, including an Egyptian and two Kuwaiti telecoms groups, in a rebuff to a rival U.S. communications technology.

Communications Minister Haidar al-Ebadi said the three sought-after deals had been awarded to a consortium including Egypt's Orascom Telecommunications, a group including Kuwait's National Mobile Telecommunications (NMTC) and a third partnership including Kuwait's MTC.
Chicago Business covers some of the details as does Computer World. The licenses are expected to run about $5 million with additional costs for $30 million in performance bonds. The cellular licenses have been a long on-again off-again affair.
[..] the issue was clouded after one U.S. lawmaker in March urged top politicians, including U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to ensure that rival U.S-backed technology CDMA be deployed to safeguard American jobs and profits.
The U.S. lawmaker mentioned above is Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is rumored to have spent approximately $1 million dollars for signatures to recall Governor Gray Davis in California. 


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