come on using


Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

“Before then, everyone was very skeptical that CDMA could work in a commercial setting,” he said. “That was October 1995, and in 1996 South Korea came on using our phones made in San Diego. The voice quality was better, there were fewer dropped calls, and it could carry both voice and data at a scale that TDMA could not.”

Does “come on using” mean begin to use?

Thank you.



No it doesn’t mean ‘began to use’. It suggests to me that it means that they appeared in public using these phones. That’s the best I can think of without knowing the circumstances in which South Korea used the phones.



Thank you, Alan.


Alan, the book doesn’t provide any details on that, but this is what I found myself: … =841986314

Mobile phone industry in South Korea

1996, Korea Mobile Telecommunications Service started the world’s first cdmaOne service in Incheon. In the same year, Korea Telecom Freetel (KTF), which later got merged with Korea Telecom, its parent company, began its service

Could the phrase in question be a reference to that?