Unexpected GSM mobile phone network found in Baghdad

Or was that two networks?

A Reuters report so wacky we feel sure it must be true reports the mysterious appearance of a mobile phone network in Baghdad yesterday. And it is erm, a GSM mobile phone network.

The company formerly known as WorldCom currently runs a network for the US military and related operations, but - at least until yesterday - there was some confusion as to whether the jury was still out on who was getting the gig, or whether at least one tender had been awarded. Yesterday's weirdnesses would however tend to suggest that we have some kind of done deal, and furthermore that it has been done with ungrateful foreigners in defiance of the Qualcomm campaigning of frothing congressman Darrell Issa.

Life is somewhat complicated if the foreigners turn out to be valued allies and/or domiciled in local friendly countries it's important to keep onside.

Reuters reports that foreign registered GSM phones were receiving welcoming text messages saying "MTC-Vodafone wishes you a pleasant stay in Kuwait," and that some users achieved brief service on Bahrain's Batelco. MTC already operates in Basra, but the administration has plans for three licences across Iraq. Or would that be two? Or maybe one? ®

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