US Calls Time On Iraq Mobile Firm

from the how-dare-you-build-something-useful-without-paying-us dept

Last week there were widespread stories about the mysterious mobile phone network that showed up in Baghdad. Plenty of people were confused, since bidding for spectrum licenses had not yet occurred and no one was exactly sure who was providing the service. There were rumors that it was Vodafone, but it later turned out to be regional firm Batelco who just went in and built the damn network, instead of waiting for the bureaucracy to sort itself out. Now, the US government – horrified that a company could build something useful without first paying for it – has told them to turn the network off. They’d much rather stop useful communications in Baghdad, then let it continue, if it’s going to cause problems for their spectrum auction. Now, it’s possible that a more organized rollout of cellular service makes sense to avoid eventual problems – but it seems silly to make a company completely turn off a working, useful, needed network in the meantime.

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