Discussion Papers

Dieter Elixmann, Martin Wörter

Strategien der Internationalisierung im Telekommunikationsmarkt
Nr. 220 / Mai 2001


The present paper has several objectives. We aim firstly at investigating the "status quo" of internationalization (Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)) in European telecommunications markets in a systematic way, secondly at working out features of dominant strategies in order to derive "archetypes", thirdly at deriving drivers for the future internationalization and fourthly at highlighting patterns of the future internationalization in a medium term view. The paper divides a given national telecommunications market into three big segments: the fixed network market, the cellular market and a so called extended telecommunications market. The latter encompasses Internet service providers (ISP), backbone service providers, suppliers of local access (city carriers, operators of metropolitan area networks (MANs), operators of data centres), and suppliers of media and other content. In this study Europe is to comprise the 15-EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, and the 13 accession countries (incl. Turkey).

Taking account of the combined fixed network and the cellular market the empirical study of the "status quo" shows that essentially 15 enterprises are internationally active in Europe. Inclusion of the segments of the extended telecommunications market yields an increase of the number of the players in Europe to over 30.

The current international activities in the combined fixed network and cellular market can be structured according to six archetypes: (a) non-players, (b) lightweights, (c) hybrid-EU-15, (d) hybrid-Europe-wide, (e) mobile specialists. The number of companies varies substantially across the archetypes. It is a surprising result of our analysis that no player can be assigned to the a-priory conceivable archetype (f) fixed network specialist. The positioning of the players with FDI activities in Europe in the extended telecommunications market varies significantly across the archetypes.

The following factors are key drivers for the future development of "today’s" archetypes: (a) continuing liberalization of national telecommunications markets, (b) realization of economies of scale and scope, (c) strategic repositioning of already active players as well as (d) financial requirements and the impact of the capital market. This holds true both with respect to the defining features of a particular archetype and the assingment of a player to an archetype.

The number of players in the combined fixed network and cellular market as well as in the segments of the enlarged telecommunications markets is not going to change fundamentally in a medium term view. Our analysis shows that the archetypes non-players, hybrid-Europe-wide, and mobile specialists will survive in the future. However, the archetypes lightweights and hybrid-EU-15 are going to disappear. Instead two new hypbrid modes of internationalization will emerge (hybrid-selective, hybrid-regional) in the future. Contrary to the current situation there will at least be one company the strategy of which can be characterized by the archetype fixed network specialist in the future.

Only German language version available.

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