International -- Readers Report
THE WAR OF THE WORLD'S WIRELESS STANDARDS (int'l edition)
"Cell phones: Europe made the right call" (Science & Technology, Sept. 7) left out an important fact. W-CDMA technology uses wide-band CDMA [code division multiple access]. Q-CDMA uses narrow-band CDMA. While to the wireless unsophisticated they seem like the same technology, they are more different than similar. Q-CDMA uses 1.25 MHz of bandwidth, insufficient for data and most Internet transmission. W-CDMA utilizes a band width oF 10 to 12 times Q-CDMA, which accounts for its ability to transmit the wider path needed for data.
Moreover, it is not true that Qualcomm Inc. developed cdma. While the military pioneered U.S. development, Europeans, especially the Swedes, were working on cdma at the same time. Like all other phone technology since Alexander Graham Bell, everybody and nobody pioneered it. Clearly, the simplest solution should be for general cross-licensing at nominal rates, so typical of the telephone industry in almost every other phase of technOlogy.
As an American living in France, I can use my gsm phone any place I go in Europe. In San Diego, where I also live and own a Qualcomm cdma phone, I can hardly leave the metropolitan area and still use my phone. Even in San Diego, it works in only one-third of the area served, and for mobility I must also access the 15-year-old analog network, which makes me wonder why I ever gave my Motorola Inc. phone to my son. If Qualcomm's promises were fulfilled, their claims against the Europeans might have some merit.
Vence, FranceReturn to top
WHERE AMERICANS HAVE AN EDGE: ATTITUDE (int'l edition)
Your series on "The 21st century economy" (Cover Story, Aug. 24-31) was an eye-opener. Americans are on top of a development for which they are being admired--grudgingly--by outsiders. The European countries have to admit that the U.S. definitely has an edge.
In comparison, there are still widespread regulations that hamper entrepreneurs in the European Community. In cases where Americans are optimistic about new-product development and go about it with razzmatazz, Europeans tend to be cautious in their individual markets and are less daring. Furthermore, they are hampered by Brussels bureaucrats and powerful ec lobbies that cater to their own national clientele.
Change is a matter of mind. And the German-created Wirtschaftswunder is a matter of the past. Yesterday's successes are no laurels in today's economy.
Helga H. Kollai
Nuremberg, GermanyReturn to top
SURPLUSES DON'T MAKE FOR LOWER TAXES (int'l edition)
I disagree with Gary Becker, who says that budget surpluses leave room for lower taxes ("Don't look for tax cuts from this budget surplus," Economic Viewpoint, Sept. 14). Budget surplus means that the government intake exceeds spending. The emergence of a surplus causes a contraction of the money rate of growth and in this regard it produces the same effect as any tight monetary policy would. A budget surplus, i.e., a monetary surplus, doesn't automatically make room for lower taxes. Only if real government outlays are curtailed can the tax be lowered.
SydneyReturn to top
WHAT THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY NEEDS (int'l edition)
"Russia: The end of reform?" (European Business, Sept. 7) posed a profound question. Great enterprises demand great risks. They require the investment of extraordinary efforts. Above all, national reforms cannot succeed without management excellence. Russians have been denied this since their emancipation from Soviet communism in 1991.
It should be clear that Viktor S. Chernomyrdin's oligarchic approach or now Primakov's Soviet "New Deal" style will not right the financial fiasco and collapse of Russia's free markets caused by President Boris N. Yeltsin.
The Duma must bury its political differences and unite behind a national imperative by embracing democracy and market economies. The will of the people should guide its decisions and ameliorate its differences. Only Russians can provide the right answers.
Somis, Calif.Return to top