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Re: P3D information

on 10/10/00 9:28 PM, David Moisan at dmoisan@shore.net wrote:

> Rather than speculate, I'd like to hear from people who have *really*
> worked and lived in a third-world country, who have practiced ham radio and
> worked with the locals (not just in a contest sense.)  I suspect our
> beliefs about this may be wrong.

Well, you're correct and at the same time incorrect.

Yes, in the third world things like cell phones, wireless local loops, etc.
make the most sense for developing a communications infrastructure.  The
reason is that to lay wire and cable for a "traditional" system, the costs
are enormous.

So it really is economic reasons that third world countries chose what they
use, NOT technological.  In fact, it is economic and market reasons that we
ALL chose what we do or use.  Very little of it actually has to do with the
fact that it IS a certain technology.  Perhaps we hams are in the minority
because we chose things based on the technology and so forth.  For the rest
of the vast unwashed out there, technology is simply a tool to get them from
one place to the next.  But it has to be cost effective.  It doesn't matter
if it's better, it has to be readily available and cost effective.  The
PERCEPTION also has to be one of cost effectiveness.  History has proven the
last statement to be true.  If you doubt it look at things such as the
Betamax VCR standard vs. VHS, Macs vs. Windows, the Newton vs. the Palm, the
Tucker vs. other automobiles, etc.  All of the first items in the list are
clearly superior products.  But they've either died or have problems in sale
because of price or supply reasons.

In order to be useful technology does not have to be the best, but it has to
cost the best.

This applies to all countries in the world.  In the case of third world
phone systems, the newer and "better" (although not necessarily) technology
is more economical than the old.  I can tell you that if it cost less to
hardwire every home in China, we wouldn't see near the cellular boom over

As far as hams in third world countries, I think I can speak for a couple as
I've been to a third world country (Paraguay), operated as a ham there and
know hams there.  In Paraguay at least, the hams I met happened to be in the
upper middle class to upper class of the social rank (as I suppose is
typical of most).  However, if you make $15,000 a year in Paraguay, you is
doing good!  You'll be in that upper middle class.  Compare that to say,
$60,000 here.  However, an FT-1000D or FT-847 in Paraguay does not cost 5
times less than it does in the USA.  So radio costs take up a larger
percentage of a ham's budget in the third world.  As a result, these guys
horse trade all sorts of stuff and scrounge to build their stations.  And
they have HF stations that would make most US hams giddy.  They are willing
to put some significant portions of their income into it.

However, would they fork over the money for the latest and greatest digital
satellite just so they could do the same thing that a mode B satellite (for
which they all ready have the equipment) can do?  I seriously doubt it.  It
isn't practical economically.



Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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