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Can competition be introduced via the issue of new mobile telephony licences: The experience of 3G licensing in Europe

Curwen, P.J. and Whalley, J.L. (2009) Can competition be introduced via the issue of new mobile telephony licences: The experience of 3G licensing in Europe. In: Telecommunication Markets: Drivers and Impediments. Contributions to Economics, 14 . Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 265-282. ISBN 978-3-7908-2081-2 (print) 978-3-7908-2082-9 (online)

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the aftermath of 3G licensing within Europe. More specifically, the chapter examines whether 3G licensing has brought about the enhanced competition of mobile markets that was sought at the time of licensing. After analysing 3G licensing across Europe, the chapter identifies four operators - Sonera (which is now part of TeliaSonera), Telefónica, France Télécom/Orange and Hutchison Whampoa - that used the opportunities presented by the issuing of licences to expand into new markets. The analysis draws a distinction between Hutchison Whampoa and the other operators, noting how its strategy differs and its mixed success to date. The chapter concludes by questioning the long-term viability of Hutchison Whampoa.