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Demand and innovation in services: The case of mobile communications

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  • Corrocher, Nicoletta
  • Zirulia, Lorenzo

Abstract

This paper aims to analyse the pricing strategies of mobile communications operators and examine the role of demand characteristics in the development of new tariff plans. In so doing, we depart from a traditional industrial organization approach to price discrimination and interpret new tariff plans as innovations. In the spirit of Schumpeter, we look at competition in this sector as depending upon this form of innovation, and we argue that, given the specific features of the industry, the development of new tariff plans is strongly related to the users' characteristics and behaviour. Our main point is that in a context of uncertainty, demand affects firms' innovative strategies in two ways: first, by providing information on user behaviour and by increasing the capability of market segmentation; and second, by providing the incentives to innovate. This argument is supported by an empirical analysis carried out on the basis of an original dataset which includes all the tariff plans on offer in the history of the Italian market between 1992 and 2005. We find that both a firm's installed customer base and the level of market saturation play a role in shaping firms' innovative pricing strategies, in terms of the number and characteristics of the new tariff plans.

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  • Corrocher, Nicoletta & Zirulia, Lorenzo, 2010. "Demand and innovation in services: The case of mobile communications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 945-955, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:7:p:945-955
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    1. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:21:y:2017:i:02:n:s1363919617500189 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Machado Léo, Ricardo & Tello‐Gamarra, Jorge, 2016. "Inovac¸ão em servic¸os: estado da arte e perspectivas futuras
      [Innovation in services: state of the art and future perspectives]
      ," MPRA Paper 82195, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Mar 2017.
    3. Snyder, Hannah & Witell, Lars & Gustafsson, Anders & Fombelle, Paul & Kristensson, Per, 2016. "Identifying categories of service innovation: A review and synthesis of the literature," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 2401-2408.
    4. Srinuan, Chalita & Srinuan, Pratompong & Bohlin, Erik, 2012. "Exploring mobile pricing strategies and innovations in the Thai mobile communications market," 19th ITS Biennial Conference, Bangkok 2012: Moving Forward with Future Technologies - Opening a Platform for All 72522, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    5. Prajogo, Daniel I., 2016. "The strategic fit between innovation strategies and business environment in delivering business performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(P2), pages 241-249.
    6. Karacuka, Mehmet & Çatık, A. Nazif & Haucap, Justus, 2013. "Consumer choice and local network effects in mobile telecommunications in Turkey," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 334-344.
    7. Jordan Robert Gamble & Michael Brennan & Rodney Mcadam, 2016. "A Contemporary And Systematic Literature Review Of User-Centric Innovation: A Consumer Perspective," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(01), pages 1-45, January.
    8. Claussen, Jörg & Essling, Christian & Kretschmer, Tobias, 2015. "When less can be more – Setting technology levels in complementary goods markets," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 328-339.
    9. Guan, Jian Cheng & Yan, Yan, 2016. "Technological proximity and recombinative innovation in the alternative energy field," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1460-1473.
    10. Sang-Gun Lee & Eui-bang Lee & Chang-Gyu Yang, 2014. "Strategies for ICT product diffusion: the case of the Korean mobile communications market," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 8(1), pages 65-81, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tariff plans Demand characteristics Mobile communications sector;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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