U.S. Trade Office Picks Favorites, And Protests Japan To Help Them

It’s the job of the US Trade Representative (USTR) to defend the rights of US companies engaged in, or working towards, foreign trade. The US no doubt brandishes a disproportionately large stick to do this defense (making friends and enemies in the process). However, it struck me as somewhat strange to read that the US Trade Office was protesting Japan’s adoption of TD-CDMA technology yet not issuing experimental licenses for ‘other’ wireless technologies. TD-CDMA technology is a Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) technology that uses standard IP network protocols wirelessly, and TD-CDMA is a 3GPP international 3G standard also known as UMTS-TDD. The marginalized BWA technologies are similar, but are proprietary solutions from US companies such as those from Flarion, Arraycomm, or Navini. What I find strange is that the US is meddling at all in what the Japanese equivalent to the FCC does, and that they are doing so in a way that benefits specific US companies, despite the fact other US companies are actually VERY involved in TD-CDMA. Interdigital, IP Wireless, UT Starcom, Northrop-Grumman, and Axcera are some of the companies that could gain from the growth of TD-CDMA in Japan. Sounds like some of these companies have more lobbying mojo than others. With domestic spectrum regulation such a controvertial issue, should gov’t really meddle in foreign spectrum issues?

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