On UKIP and SMS

Silly piece in The Observer to which I respond.

and was the brainchild of the kind of European intergovernmental initiative that drives Ukip nuts. The first mobile phones were analogue devices, and the market was bedevilled by incompatible technologies and protocols – rather like the early market in fixed-line telephony in the United States before the AT&T monopoly was established. But in 1982 a European telephony conference decided to tackle the problem. It set up the Groupe Spécial Mobile (GSM) committee and established a group of communications engineers in Paris.

Five years later, 13 European countries signed an agreement to develop and deploy a common mobile telephone system across Europe. The result was GSM – a unified, open, standard-based mobile network larger than that in the United States. The first GSM call was made by the Finnish prime minister in 1991, and the first GSM handsets were approved for sale in May 1992

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Why on earth would this drive UKIP people like me nuts?

We love intergovernmental cooperation. In fact, we\’re the people who love this so much that we don\’t want it replaced by one European Government.

7 comments on “On UKIP and SMS

  1. That story looks a little familiar. Is it from Francis Spufford’s The Backroom Boys?

    As I assume no journalist working for the Guardian has much of a clue about anything complicated it must have been lifted from somewhere. The free jab at Ukip is, I assume, their own work.

  2. SMS was originally conceived as an engineering function for updating SIM cards that could be used by customers. Even as late as 1997 those designing and building networks paid lip service to the subject. SMCs The smallest possible SMSC was included in business plans.

    We even had one client who demanded to know why he had to pay for and SMSC and it too a lot of persuasion to keep it in the business plan.

    It was them pesky customers wot did it, not the engineers who met in Paris, they were just the unwitting enablers.

  3. I’d love to see the typical Grauniad reporter sitting in on an ETSI RES Working Group meeting. These are the committees where parties to a standard get together to hash out the technical details of radio equipment. They’re usually very, very technical, involve industry, academia and technical representatives of governments, and they work. They are primarily driven by a desire on the part of all involved to flog more kit to more punters. Deeply, deeply capitalistic.

  4. “John Naughton is professor of the public understanding of technology at the Open University”

    Explains a lot.

  5. The logic runs like this:
    1) Only racists could be anti EU
    2) Racists would dislike any interaction with foriegners

    Its completely circular.

  6. Note that Norway was one of the original 13 countries involved. I think that holes the Grauniad’s argument below the water line…

  7. serf

    The logic runs like this:
    1) Only racists could be anti EU
    2) Racists would dislike any interaction with foriegners

    Its completely circular.

    Don’t forget 3) No one is capable of doing anything unless people like us are in charge. Thus free people cannot co-ordinate to achieve unless we have an over-arching political structure that puts graduates of ENA or its equivalent in power.

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