The strategic implications of European Union expansion for mobile telecommunications companies

Peter Curwen (Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, UK)
Jason Whalley (Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, UK)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The European Union (EU) has recently been significantly enlarged with the addition of ten countries. This was expected to induce telecommunications operators in the original EU15 to invest heavily in operators in the accession countries. This paper seeks to analyse the extent to which this has occurred in practice.


The pattern of licence ownership and subscriber numbers in the EU25 is set out for 30 June 2004. The market position of eight operators likely to have played a role in investing in accession countries is examined and the level of concentration in every market is calculated. A number of case studies of operators are generated and an overall conclusion reached as to whether accession has indeed evinced a strategic response, or is likely to do so during 2005.


The results show that there has been no uniform response by operators in the EU15 to the onset of accession, and rather less investment overall than had been anticipated. This is explained by a variety of factors such as lack of investments providing majority control, financial constraints and the desire to cluster investments.


This paper provides a timely analysis, eight months on from accession, of how it is likely to affect individual, important industrial sectors within the now EU25.



Curwen, P. and Whalley, J. (2005), "The strategic implications of European Union expansion for mobile telecommunications companies", European Business Review, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 497-517.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.