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Predicting the unpredictable: dealing with risk and uncertainty in broadband roll‐out

Marieke Fijnvandraat (Strategic Business Consultant in the Network Department, KPN, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Harry Bouwman (Associate Professor at Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, and Privat Docent at the Institute for Advanced Management Systems Research, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland)

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 17 October 2010

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Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to offer a validated framework for the analysis of (future) risks and uncertainties involved in the decision‐making process concerning the upgrade and roll‐out of large infrastructural projects, e.g. broadband networks. The framework classifies risks and uncertainties based on the nature of the risks, levels and sources.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of conceptual as well as qualitative and quantitative empirical analyses.

Findings

Telecommunications operators are faced with various types of risks and uncertainties in their decision‐making process concerning the upgrade and roll‐out of their broadband networks. In one respect, these risks and uncertainties have to do with the characteristics of large infrastructural projects, while, on the other hand, being caused by (unknown) competitor behaviour, (unknown) end‐user demand, rapid technological development and different development paths available to operators. Framing risks and uncertainties into a typology provides greater insight into the categories, characteristics and sources of the risks and uncertainties, as well as being a first step in finding ways to deal with them.

Originality/value

The paper presents and validates a framework for the analysis of risks and uncertainty. It also offers empirical data on how operators manage risk and uncertainties.

Keywords

Citation

Fijnvandraat, M. and Bouwman, H. (2010), "Predicting the unpredictable: dealing with risk and uncertainty in broadband roll‐out", Foresight, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 3-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636681011089952

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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