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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5441/cell-phones-in-iraq/

Cell-phones in Iraq

August 8, 2006 by

This fascinating story in the NYT tells of the proliferation of cellphones and how they are used to make life better. But how strange that the journalist was not even slightly curious about the companies and entrepreneurs who make this possible. I seem to recall that early on, the US refused to permit cellphones companies in and were seeking to grant a monopoly (MTC seems to have been a contender) to a preferred provider (see here). Anyone know what happened? Is there free competition? This 2005 piece says that a company called Iraqna is a provider.


W Baker August 8, 2006 at 8:34 am


I would think any service from anyone would be welcomed by the US in Iraq! The place is literally and figuratively falling apart. No amount of US aid or force has been able to hold it together, much have the time or manpower to maintain its sinecures.

It would take one hell of an entrepreneur to start up something like a cellular business in Iraq. You’d have to supply your own power and hope to goodness that someone or the competition doesn’t take your towers out!

Max August 8, 2006 at 11:56 am

If you look at it, it resembles the success story of cell phones in the capital of Mogadishu! The ambivalence or rather absence of any government or controlling instance proved to be fertile ground for cellular phones.

Hopefully, something like this will happen in Iraq, too. It would greatly benefit the poor individuals living in this US-created mess..

ltclong August 8, 2006 at 12:01 pm

do a websearch on use of balloons carrying cell phone repeaters as a very economic way to bypass the cell tower.

Balloons at 20000 feet are immune to terror tactics that make towers cost prohibitive. Study i saw said it would take only 7 balloons to provide coverage to North Dakota. There was a finders fee for people to return the repeaters to a collection point if the balloon malfunctioned or were brought to earth having moved to the edge of the coverage area.

i say issue them all free cell fones with internet access, unleash the 1st amendment, and let the battle over values and freedom begin!

Alisha August 5, 2009 at 8:24 am

I’m curious to know if things have changed now that it’s been a few years. Anyone??

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