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Article

Pieter Ballon

This paper investigates the main trends and uncertainties that will define fourth generation mobile systems and services (4G) in Europe. It outlines two divergent visions…

Abstract

This paper investigates the main trends and uncertainties that will define fourth generation mobile systems and services (4G) in Europe. It outlines two divergent visions on 4G: the so‐called “immediate” 4G vision, consisting of wireless local area networks (WLANs) combined with other wireless access technologies, competing with 3G in the short term, and the so‐called “linear” 4G vision, in which the 3G standard is not replaced until the end of its life cycle by an ultra‐high speed broadband wireless network. Which of these visions will materialise, and what this means for the competitiveness of the main 4G stakeholders in Europe, will be to a large extent determined by which business models are feasible for 4G.

Details

info, vol. 6 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article

Christoph Stork

This paper seeks to contribute to the debate about the regulation of termination rates in the context of Africa.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to contribute to the debate about the regulation of termination rates in the context of Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is based on analysis of secondary data and a case study of a regulatory intervention in Namibia and its impact.

Findings

Mobile call termination is a monopoly and not one side of a two‐sided market. Cost‐based termination rates increase competition between operators and lead to lower prices, more subscribers and more investment.

Research limitations/implications

The case of Namibia is presented as an example of termination rate benchmarking as an alternative regulatory strategy to overcome regulatory and institutional bottlenecks in Africa.

Practical implications

African regulators are presented with a tool for removing market distortions.

Social implications

Cost based termination rates will lead to lower retail prices and allow more people to use mobile phones.

Originality/value

The paper presents theoretical and empirical evidence against the waterbed effect and the two‐sided market argument.

Details

info, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article

Kimmo Laakso, Anita Rubin and Hannu Linturi

Mobile communication has grown beyond its original scope and scale, and mobile operators have played a significant role in this phenomenon. Since the mobile operator

Abstract

Purpose

Mobile communication has grown beyond its original scope and scale, and mobile operators have played a significant role in this phenomenon. Since the mobile operator business is highly regulated, the authors aim to analyze the effects of regulation on the industry during the period 1985‐2009. They also aim to consider its potential effects in the years 2010‐2015.

Design/methodology/approach

The method selected for this research was the Delphi method. The challenge was that this method was originally created to assess experts' opinions about the course of development of a certain technology or phenomenon in the future, and then by using for example a scenario technique, to draw conclusions about its possible futures. Here the authors used the Delphi method for estimating past development also, i.e. experts' opinions of the causes and effects of laws and other regulations in the past few decades.

Findings

According to this research the ultimate goals of the regulator, set as early as in the middle of the 1980s, have been actualized: in Finland there are several competing nationwide mobile operators and the use of mobile phones is cheap compared to many other countries. One significant finding of this study is that the regulatory framework for the mobile operator business has become more complex over the years and that this complexity is also likely to grow in the future.

Practical implications

Dynamic regulation has enabled strong competition in Finland's mobile operator market and at the same time a very high service level for subscribers. The Delphi method is proven to be a powerful tool also when examining past events, and the authors recommend Delphi for use in studies related to other sectors of administration and fields of business.

Originality/value

This paper enables better monitoring of the changes in regulatory framework over a long period in which several changes have been made, compared to previous studies which focus on a single regulatory action.

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Article

Mark de Reuver, Tim de Koning, Harry Bouwman and Wolter Lemstra

The purpose of this paper is to explore how technological and strategic developments enable new billing processes for mobile content services.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how technological and strategic developments enable new billing processes for mobile content services.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews with practitioners are used as input for designing different archetypical role division models for billing and process models. The potential of these process models to reshape the mobile industry is evaluated on three criteria: convenience for the end‐user; potential resource barriers; and the fit with strategic interests of the actors involved.

Findings

Both technological advances and the introduction of new roles and strategies in the mobile domain enable the emergence of alternative billing methods. While network operator‐centric models remain relevant in the short term, in the longer term they will co‐exist with other models in which the customer transaction is owned by the content aggregator, the content provider, the ISP or the payment provider.

Research limitations/implications

The research demonstrates the relevance of analysis at the process level in assessing the feasibility of new role division models at the value creation level.

Practical implications

The emergence of alternative billing providers is expected to change the power balance in the value network and assist in opening up the “walled garden”.

Originality/value

The analysis extends beyond existing discussions on billing in the mobile industry, which typically focus on the value network level, as the process level and the related resources are included. Moreover, the empirical data from the interviews with practitioners at various organizations provide new insights into the feasibility of these models in practice.

Details

info, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article

Pratompong Srinuan, Mohammad Tsani Annafari and Erik Bohlin

The purpose of this paper is to explain the determinant factors of switching behavior in the Thai cellular market before the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) policy is implemented.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the determinant factors of switching behavior in the Thai cellular market before the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) policy is implemented.

Design/methodology/approach

A binary logit model and individual survey data from the National Telecommunications Commission 2009 are used to estimate the intention of mobile phone consumers to switch.

Findings

The results show that subscriber characteristics, including age, government officer, self‐employed, internet use, central region, and southern region, are significant in explaining the switching behavior of Thai mobile subscribers. They also indicate that the mobile operators' customers are confronted with different switching costs. The subscribers of the largest mobile operator have the highest switching costs. This study also shows that the largest mobile operators will gain more switching subscribers than smaller operators. The implementation of MNP will help to lower the switching costs of smaller mobile operators rather than of larger operators, as the subscribers of smaller operators are more likely to switch and move to larger mobile operators, as the larger operators provide better quality network coverage. The study shows that the expected impact of implementing MNP without national mobile roaming regulations would be worse for smaller mobile operators. The smaller operators need to compete on both price and quality improvement. In the short run, it would not be possible for the smaller operators to compete with the larger operators due to the inequality in the quality of network coverage.

Originality/value

The result is useful to developing countries considering implementing MNP regulation.

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Article

Peter Curwen and Jason Whalley

The European Union (EU) has recently been significantly enlarged with the addition of ten countries. This was expected to induce telecommunications operators in the…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article

Jukka Kallio, Markku Tinnilä and Anne Tseng

The objective of this paper is to understand the success factors of mobile operators.

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to understand the success factors of mobile operators.

Design/methodology/approach

Explores the business practices of leading carriers in Japan, South Korea, China, Europe and the USA.

Findings

The paper finds several common characteristics in the more successful markets including a handset design and quality of service that are aligned with the operators' service concepts, effective billing systems, reasonable prices, and targeted marketing strategies. While these internal factors can be easily copied by a mobile operator, it is found that there are additional, external factors such as the existing customer base and its preferences, government policy, technological constraints and value chain dynamics that can greatly affect the transferability of a mobile operator's business model to another market.

Research limitations/implications

The findings present opportunities for further research including the possibility of developing a new theory into which factors are more difficult to transfer and why.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this paper are that operators who wish to pursue profitable business models need to take into account the factors of a successful business model and which ones are easily transferable in their respective markets and which ones are not.

Originality/value

The paper is unique in that we compare the business models of mobile operators across five different countries.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article

Lara Srivastava

Outlines Japan’s journey to third‐generation mobile (3G). Posits a number of factors have been responsible for driving Japan in the direction of 3G. Examines developments…

Abstract

Outlines Japan’s journey to third‐generation mobile (3G). Posits a number of factors have been responsible for driving Japan in the direction of 3G. Examines developments in 3G mobile phones and the situation reached in that country. Sums up that there are a number of lessons to be learned from the Japanese experience, notably on market structure.

Details

info, vol. 3 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Book part

Olga E. Annushkina

This study addresses foreign markets selection decisions by Russian mobile telecommunications operators and the impact of top management team composition on the degree of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study addresses foreign markets selection decisions by Russian mobile telecommunications operators and the impact of top management team composition on the degree of firms’ internationalization.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative exploratory study analyzed 24 foreign market entry decisions and the composition of the top management team of the two leading Russian mobile telecommunications operators, VimpelCom and Mobile Telesystems (MTS/AFK Sistema).

Findings

Russian mobile telecommunications operators adopted a gradual approach to foreign market selection, as the study revealed the positive impact of the target market’s geographic proximity to Russia on the investment decision. The international background of the top management team was positively related to the increasing distance of the selected foreign markets.

Research limitations/implications

Further studies may include quantitative evaluation of investment decisions by mobile telecommunications operators from other emerging-market firms, as well as a longer observation period and investment decisions by firms operating in other industries.

Practical implications

Russian and other emerging-market firms should evaluate the importance of the top management team composition and international experience prior to initiation of the internationalization process.

Originality/value

Russian multinationals represent a relatively understudied phenomenon, despite the importance of outward foreign direct investments from Russia among other emerging-market firms.

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Article

Isaac Akomea-Frimpong, Charles Andoh, Agnes Akomea-Frimpong and Yvonne Dwomoh-Okudzeto

Fraud is a global economic menace which threatens the survival of individuals, firms, industries and economies, and the mobile money service is no exception. This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Fraud is a global economic menace which threatens the survival of individuals, firms, industries and economies, and the mobile money service is no exception. This paper aims to explore the main causes of fraud in the mobile money services in Ghana and the measures to combat the menace by the key stakeholders connected to the mobile money services. The paper is motivated by recent reports of numerous fraudulent transactions on the mobile money platform, and the need to clamp down these nefarious transactions with effective and practical measures to sustain the service.

Design/methodology/approach

A thorough review of existing studies on fraud risk relating to mobile money services was done revealing a paucity of literature on the subject. Primary data were gathered using an interview guide to explore the magnitude of the problem based on the views of employees of mobile money operators, mobile money agents, banking supervisors from Bank of Ghana, employees of partnering banks, employees of National Communications Authority and mobile money subscribers.

Findings

The study revealed that fraud in mobile money services is caused by weak internal controls and systems, lack of sophisticated information technology tools to detect the menace, inadequate education and training and the poor remuneration of employees. These factors disrupt the growth, and the smooth-running of the services. To curb this menace, a detailed legal code and internal fraud policy should be developed and used by mobile money operators and partner banks. Adequate training for mobile money agents should be encouraged coupled with public awareness campaigns to educate stakeholders especially the mobile money subscribers on the tricks of the fraudsters.

Research limitations/implications

With the chosen research methodology and limited sample size, the findings may not reflect the views of all the stakeholders connected to the mobile money services. Therefore, future studies on this subject are entreated to use research methods which embrace larger samples to get more details about this menace.

Practical implications

The study will assist in tackling the mobile money fraud to sustain the service in the foreseeable future.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to scanty literature on fraud relating to the mobile money services by drawing lessons from a middle-income country.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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