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Estimating Network Effects and Compatibility in Mobile Telecommunications

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  • Michal Grajek

Abstract

This paper provides empirical evidence on the extent of network effects and compatibility between networks in mobile telecommunications. We specify a structural model of demand for mobile telephone service, which allows us to identify the parameters of interest from the S-shape of mobile service diffusion. The network effects are measured by the dependence of consumer willingness to pay on the installed base of subscribers. Compatibility is measured by the relative extent of cross- and own-network effects. As such, it indicates whether the network effects operate at the firm level, at the industry level, or at both. We then estimate this model for the Polish mobile telephone industry using quarterly panel data for the period 1996-2001. We find strong network effects, which give rise to upward-sloping demand, and, despite full interconnection of the mobile telephone networks, low compatibility. We show also that ignoring network effects in empirical models of emerging network industries might substantially bias downward the estimated price elasticity of demand. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Schätzung von Netzwerkeffekten und Kompatibilität in Mobilfunktelekommunikation) Der vorliegende Beitrag bietet empirische Evidenz für den Umfang von Netzwerkeffekten und Netzwerkkompatibilität in der Mobilfunktelekom-munikation. Wir spezifizieren ein strukturelles Modell für die Nachfrage von Mobilfunkdienstleistungen, das die Parameter von Interesse mithilfe der S-förmigen Funktion der Dienstleistungsdiffusion identifiziert. Die Netzwerkeffekte werden durch die Abhängigkeit der Zahlungsbereitschaft der Konsumenten von der installierten Abonnentenbasis gemessen. Netzwerkkompatibilität wird durch den relativen Umfang der Quer- und Eigen-Netzwerkeffekte gemessen. Sie weist darauf hin, ob Netzwerkeffekten auf Unternehmensebene, auf Industrieebene, oder auf beiden Ebenen bestehen. Dann schätzen wir das Modell für die Polnische Mobilfunkindustrie mit vierteljährlichen Paneldaten für 1996-2001. Wir stellen starke Netzwerkeffekte fest, die eine positive Steigung in der Nachfragefunktion verursachen, und - trotz der technisch vollständigen Querverbindung der Mobilfunknetze - niedrige Kompatibilität. Wir zeigen auch, dass das Übersehen von Netzwerkeffekten in empirischen Modellen von neuen Netzwerkindustrien die geschätzte Preiselastizität der Nachfrage signifikant nach unten verzerren kann.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number SP II 2003-26.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2003-26

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Keywords: Structural Econometric Model; Network Effects; Compatibility; Mobile Telecommunications;

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Cited by:
  1. Laura Rinaldi, 2008. "Estimation of network externalities and critical mass in the mobile telephone market: a panel data analysis of the OECD countries," Working Papers 1_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  2. Daniel Birke, 2008. "The economics of networks - A survey of the empirical literature," Occasional Papers 22, Industrial Economics Division.
  3. Ching-I Huang, 2008. "Estimating demand for cellular phone service under nonlinear pricing," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 371-413, December.
  4. Michal Grajek & Tobias Kretschmer, 2006. "Usage and Diffusion of Cellular Telephony, 1998-2004," CIG Working Papers SP II 2006-20, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  5. Miko?aj Czajkowski & Maciej Sobolewski, 2011. "Measuring network effects in mobile telecommunications markets with stated-preference valuation methods," International Journal of Management and Network Economics, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(2), pages 197-215.
  6. Heli Koski & Tobias Kretschmer, 2004. "Entry, Standards and Competition: Firm Strategies and the Diffusion of Mobile Telephony," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 89-113, November.
  7. Usero, Belén & Fernández, Zulima, 2009. "First come, first served: How market and non-market actions influence pioneer market share," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(11), pages 1139-1145, November.
  8. Jean-Michel HUET & Isabelle VIENNOIS & Pierre LABARTHE & Anas EL BARKANI, 2012. "Impact Study of the Arrival of a New Mobile Phone Operator in Haiti," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(86), pages 175-192, 2nd quart.
  9. Zulima Fernández & Belén Usero, 2007. "The erosion of pioneer advantage in the European mobile telecommunications industry," Service Business, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 195-210, September.
  10. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Maciej Sobolewski, 2013. "Switching Costs and Network Effects – How Much Do they Really Matter in Mobile Telecommunications?," Working Papers 2013-29, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  11. Doganoglu, Toker & Grzybowski, Lukasz, 2007. "Estimating network effects in mobile telephony in Germany," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 65-79, March.
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  13. Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Sobolewski, Maciej, 2013. "Estimation of switching costs and network effects in mobile telecommunications in Poland," 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88515, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  14. Baraldi, A. Laura, 2008. "Network Externalities and Critical Mass in the Mobile Telephone Network: a Panel Data Estimation," MPRA Paper 13373, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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