| Cash in the rubble
New Delhi, April 20: Even as war rages in India over limited mobility services, Telecommunication Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) plans to provide CDMA-based limited mobile phones in war-ravaged Iraq.
Currently, no telecom network is operating in Iraq. The only communication link between the world and Iraq is through INMARSAT, a satellite operated by a consortium of countries and telecom companies. Also, the price and use of the communication system by public is a major hurdle.
The company has prepared a preliminary study and will approach the external affairs ministry with a proposal to offer telecom service as part of the country’s aid effort to war-torn Iraq. TCIL also plans to offer consultancy and set up infrastructure on full scale when an administration is put in place.
Technical director M. C. Chowdhury said: “There are opportunities a galore in Iraq for TCIL. We have the expertise in setting up CDMA-based mobile phone networks and we did this successfully in Nepal. We have also provided consultancy to many countries in West Asia and Africa to set up mobile networks.”
Recently, TCIL had completed reconstructing the telecom infrastructure in Afghanistan — a country ripped apart by internecine battles for decades. As an entry strategy, TCIL has secured a contract for IT training in Kabul, he added.
The company is yet to take up any major telecom project in Iraq. However, it had set up a network in Kuwait after the first Gulf war which covered an area of 242 square kilometres in Iraq.
“CDMA will be an option that will be proffered due its inherent capabilities and our success with it abroad,” he said.
A senior official of Qualcomm, the pioneers of CDMA technology, said: “The advantages of deploying CDMA are vast. With one base station we can cover an area up to 15 kilometres as against 2-3 kilometres by other technologies (GSM). The operator can set up 20 base stations and start a skeleton network in 15 days in a war ravaged country like Iraq or earthquake hit Gujarat.”