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Strategic focus of incumbents in the European telecommunications industry: The cases of BT, Deutsche Telekom and KPN


  • van Kranenburg, H.L. (Hans)
  • Hagedoorn, John


This study investigates the internal and external strategic choices that telecommunications firms, operating in a dynamic network environment, make to adapt to changes and to respond quickly in order to create or to sustain their competitive advantage. In particular, in the European telecommunications industry incumbent firms have faced important challenges from new technologies, liberalization and the convergence of markets. The leading European telecommunications companies initially focused on new markets and new businesses, emphasizing their plans to become major players in relevant markets. However, after the telecommunications euphoria companies were more restrained due to their huge burden of debt and their market value. Through refocusing or restructuring, these companies have tried to streamline their businesses in order to restore their value and to improve their competitiveness. Insight into the specific strategic actions of traditional telecommunications companies in Europe to the recent developments in the industry is provided from the analysis of three leading traditional telecommunications companies: BT, Deutsche Telekom and KPN.

Suggested Citation

  • van Kranenburg, H.L. (Hans) & Hagedoorn, John, 2008. "Strategic focus of incumbents in the European telecommunications industry: The cases of BT, Deutsche Telekom and KPN," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 116-130, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:32:y:2008:i:2:p:116-130

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Troulos, Costas & Maglaris, Vasilis, 2011. "Factors determining municipal broadband strategies across Europe," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 842-856.
    2. Moreno, Plácido & Lozano, Sebastián & Gutiérrez, Ester, 2013. "Dynamic performance analysis of U.S. wireline telecommunication companies," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 469-482.
    3. Hagedoorn, John & Wang, Ning, 2010. "Is there complementarity or substitutability between internal and external R&D strategies?," MERIT Working Papers 005, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Grove, Nico & Baumann, Oliver, 2012. "Complexity in the telecommunications industry: When integrating infrastructure and services backfires," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 40-50.
    5. Curwen, Peter & Whalley, Jason, 2013. "Mapping worldwide mobile networks: Some problems and indicative solutions," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 1150-1165.
    6. Navio-Marco, J & Solorzano-Garcia, M & Urueña, A., 2015. "Language As Key Factor Of Long-Term Value Creation In Mergers And Acquisitions In The Telecommunications Sector," 26th European Regional ITS Conference, Madrid 2015 127170, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    7. Hagedoorn, John & Wang, Ning, 2012. "Is there complementarity or substitutability between internal and external R&D strategies?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1072-1083.
    8. Garrido, Elisabet & Whalley, Jason, 2013. "Competition in wholesale markets: Do MNOs compete to host MVNOs?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 1124-1141.
    9. Hans van Kranenburg & Gerrit Willem Ziggers, 2013. "Dynamic competition and ambidexterity," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy, chapter 6, pages 57-66 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Clifton, Judith & Díaz-Fuentes, Daniel & Revuelta, Julio, 2009. "Explaining Telecoms and Electricity Internationalization in the European Union: A Political Economy Perspective," MPRA Paper 33037, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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