Telecom globalization : a case study of cable & wireless

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Telecom globalization : a case study of cable & wireless


Author: Lo, Kwok-yeung
Title: Telecom globalization : a case study of cable & wireless
Degree: M.B.A.
Year: 1997
Subject: Telecommunication -- Case studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Management
Pages: ix, 119, [13] p. : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Telecommunications industry is experiencing an external environment which is so turbulent that it has never experienced since the invention of telephone by Granham Bell. For many public telecommunications providers(PTO), their traditional role as the public agents to provide telecommunications services to their nations is fading as many of them are privatized by their governments. It is a painful process for these ex-public telecommunications operators to change their ways of running their telecommunication operation. In this process, they have to learn to behave like other private businesses, responding to competition, improving operation efficiency, developing new services, becoming market oriented and planning its business direction. Growth of business is no longer natural. Governments who used to be on their side become their regulators and set policies to ensure the markets are in healthy competition. These telecommunication operators(TOs) sometimes may find difficult to position themselves at the start of the process. While competing with new telecommunication service providers in their home markets, they are forced to explore new markets, new services and new businesses. From the early nineties, there exists a trend that TOs are increasing their participation in more international activities which include establishing new foreign offices and subsidiaries, acquiring foreign firms and forming joint-ventures or alliances with other TOs in providing international telecommunications services. This trend is considered global as the TOs having this reactive behaviour are spreaded in US, Europe and Asia. Though internationalization of manufacturing firms are well studied, the findings from these researches may not be appropriate for describing or predicting the internationalization of TOs. Therefore, this project attempts to research into the conceptual framework and the behavioural patterns of the international activities of TOs. It is hoped through this project a conceptual framework can be established for studying TOs' tendency of globalization, the most significant drivers of globalization and the strategies of globalization. It is also desired in this project that guidelines for TOs to consider globalization can be developed. These guidelines should be able to help TOs to have a preliminary audit of its their ability of entering international business. This is considered an important objective of this project as premature activities of globalization is extremely costly and risky for all TOs, no matter they are big or small. This study will try to identify the major drivers of internationalization of TOs through four case studies of four major TOs- British Telecom, Deutsche Bundespost Telecom, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph, and BellSouth which have participated in international activities. Their globalization behaviours will be studied using a globalization framework based on the one proposed by Dowling, Boulton and Elliott (Dowling, Boulton and Elliott 1994). The four drivers are technological change, market demand, deregulation/liberalization and ownership-specific advantage. In my study, technological change is considered as one kind of ownership-specific advantage which is critical in any globalization activities. Cross case analysis of these four cases reveals technological change, market demand and deregulation/liberalization all have effects on the globalization of the TOs studied. The application of the framework is further validated by applying it to the case of Hongkong Telecom(HKT). It is found it can help to predict HKT's globalization process. Result of analysis also indicates these four TOs all exploit their unique ownership-specific advantages in their internationalization, therefore ownership-specific advantage can be concluded as an essential factor for TOs to be successful in their globalization processes. Another finding is the proposition of the rate of globalization of TOs is affected by competitive factors is not always true. This is valid to those TOs competing for the same markets. particularly in the global telecommunication services market. For other TOs, they will pursue their globalization at their own paces and directions. This study also reveals globalization activities are usually are the consequence of the experiencing home market share eroding under competition which is a result of deregulation and liberalization of home market. However, success of moving their businesses aboard depends much on if they have some unique ownership-specific advantages. For small TOs, though might not be able to make investment overseas, may attract global carriers' invitation to join their consortium if these TOs are successful in their own countries. Government's influence on a TO's internationalization can be significant particularly for those TOs who are public organizations or under control due to national interest. The behaviours of the globalization of these TOs can not be predicted only by the framework of this study. However, as the control by their own government is diminishing over time, the result of this study should be still useful to analyze their globalization processes.

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