Wireless Gulf War
By Niall McKay, Wed Sep 03 21:00:00 GMT 2003

Business Week examines the question; who is going to build Iraq's cellular network? The winning bid will be announced on Friday, September 5, 2003. So place your bets. UPDATE by justin: The announcement has been postponed by a week, to September 12th. Apparently, a whole lot of companies want in on this.

It has the potential to either make or break the winning telco. Analysts predict that Iraq could become a billion dollar market in three years. On the other hand, the new Iraqi government could terminate that contract when it comes up for renewal in two years time. It will cost about $150 million to build the infrastructure.

Earlier this year, Congressman Darrell Issa wrote a letter to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urging him to deploy CDMA because, he said, that GSM is an outdated French standard. huh...

Already a Bahrain company called Batelco, has spent $5 million setting up its own wireless network in Baghdad without seeking permission of the U.S. authorities. Perhaps that is the free market in action. And what technology does Batelco use? GSM.