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 11: Retrospect and prospect

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


Chapter 10 has examined in some detail the situation in relation to the most important international operators at the end of 2012 and concluded with an attempt to identify the most internationalised among them by aggregating the data contained in the chapter. It was noted that no operator could reasonably lay claim to having a global presence irrespective of what they state officially in press releases or unofficially at the likes of conferences. However, a few tasks remain in any attempt to take an overview of the mobile sector, and these are addressed in this chapter. For example, there has so far been no discussion of the operational performance of internationalised operators during the past several years – a discussion that must be conducted in terms of the acquisition of revenue-yielding subscribers for want of comparable financial data across the sample. Second, there is a need to bring together the information on recent acquisitions and divestments together with data on something that is less tangible, namely information on what operators would like to have achieved if they had been free to do so. A third issue relates to licences. Competition is between networks that already exist but operators with licences provide potential competition that also needs to be taken into account. By and large, as noted previously, new entrants have rarely posed a significant threat to incumbents, and that conclusion held good during the heyday of 3G, which covered roughly the period 2000 to 2005.

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