Mobile Telecommunications Networks

Mobile Telecommunications Networks

Restructuring as a Response to a Challenging Environment

Peter Curwen and Jason Whalley

During the past decade, no industry has grown faster than that of mobile communications, yet coverage of its operations remains scarce. This state-of-the-art book examines the evolving structure and strategic behaviour of the thirty largest operators in the mobile communications industry.

Chapter 9: Structural and strategic adjustment among mobile operators in North America

Peter Curwen and Jason Whalley

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, strategic management, economics and finance, industrial organisation, innovation and technology, organisational innovation, technology and ict


Although this book is concerned with operators’ international ventures, there is one region – if that is indeed the correct term for what is in effect a single country for our purposes, given that Canadian operators are fixated on the home market and the other parts of the region are too small to warrant analysis – that needs to be handled somewhat differently from the others. The USA is one of the world’s largest single markets and currently contains four large national operators – of which two are much larger than the others – and a number of relatively small regional/local networks. However, simply indicating who they are and listing their international assets would be highly misleading because the USA has undergone internal restructuring on a massive scale – indeed, some restructuring is ongoing while this chapter is being written – and this has, in turn, significantly altered the way in which the evolving tableau of operators has viewed the balance of advantage between domestic and overseas holdings. For this reason, it is necessary to start by outlining the process of structural evolution before commenting on how this has affected operators’ attitude towards ownership of overseas assets. In the process, the role played by foreign companies as strategic investors within the USA is put into perspective. Readers will be familiar with AT & T as one of the two largest mobile incumbents in the USA.

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