The Internationalisation of Mobile Telecommunications

The Internationalisation of Mobile Telecommunications

Strategic Challenges in a Global Market

Peter Curwen and Jason Whalley

Based upon the very latest data available, the underlying premise of the book is that mobile telecommunications is such a fast-moving sector that operators are obliged to alter their international strategies as circumstances unravel without necessarily having a long-term master plan, and hence that opportunism is a hallmark of operators’ international strategies. This state-of-the-art overview of the internationalisation of mobile telecommunications will prove essential reading for academics and practitioners with a vested interest in technology, telecommunications and strategic management.

Chapter 2: Mobile Technology: From 1G to 4G

Peter Curwen and Jason Whalley

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, strategic management, innovation and technology, organisational innovation, technology and ict

Extract

2.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter is concerned with technological issues and it must be said immediately that there are no universally accepted definitions relating to many of the issues discussed below. We choose to refer throughout to ‘mobile’ communications in order to contrast this with fixed-wire communications, but it is immediately evident that the latter can possess an element of mobility if a handset can be detached from a cradle and carried around the house. Equally, no network can be entirely mobile. If, for example, one wanted to call a number in France from England then the call would have to cross the channel either via an underwater link or via a satellite link. Finally, it is possible for a network to be created using fixed short-range transmitters, probably within the bounds of a city, which allows mobility only within the defined area. The terms ‘wireless’ and ‘cellular radio’ are often used in describing networks that permit full mobility, but these are treated for the purposes of this book as synonyms for ‘mobile’. Hence, the mobile communications market is taken as encompassing services that are provided by connecting two or more mobile devices or terminals via a base station. For the purposes of the discussion below, these devices will for the most part be taken to be handsets since they dominate current usage, although they are constantly evolving both in form and function – Motorola, for example, has taken to referring to ‘the device formerly known as the cell phone’....

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