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Mobile Electronic Commerce by June Wei

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345
chapter seventeen
Mobile content and
applications value networks
Evidence from the Italian mobile
telecommunications market
Antonio Ghezzi, Raffaello Balocco, and Andrea Rangone
17.1 Introduction
The mobile telecommunications industry has a relatively short but
undoubtedly intense history, made of signicant advancements at both the
infrastructure and service levels. On a network standard level, the indus-
try evolved through a well-orchestrated multistep transition from global
system for mobile communications (GSM) to general packet radio service
(GPRS) and universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS), which
is currently leading to the development of 4G—the so-called long-term
evolution (Barnes, 2002; Li and Whalley, 2002; Ballon, 2004; Ibrus, 2013).
At the same time, on a service level, the innovation initiative of mobile
network operators (MNOs), device manufacturers (DMs), and a growing
Contents
17.1 Introduction ...........................................................................................345
17.2 Literature review on value networks and strategic networks ........ 347
17.3 Research methodology ......................................................................... 349
17.4 Mobile content and applications value-adding activities ............... 351
17.5 Mobile content and application value network alternative
conguration ......................................................................................... 353
17.5.1 Full-walled garden conguration...........................................354
17.5.2 Intermediated content delivery conguration ..................... 355
17.5.3 Full open garden conguration .............................................. 357
17.5.4 Technology and service provider conguration .................. 359
17.5.5 Device manufacturerdriven conguration ......................... 362
17.6 Conclusions and future works ............................................................ 363
References ........................................................................................................364
346 Mobile Electronic Commerce
set of third parties catalyzed the development of a wide and appealing
offer of value-added, nonvoice mobile digital media services—which
include handset browsing, mobile social networking, mobile applications,
mobile games, mobile music, mobile video, mobile TV, ringtones, wallpa-
pers, and infotainment alerts—pertaining to the so-called mobile content
and applications market segment (Peppard and Rylander, 2006; Kuo and
Yu, 2006; Jung etal., 2013).
The mobile content and applications market relevance in the overall
mobile telecommunications landscape is rising dramatically, as analysts
expect its global value, only partially hindered by the ongoing recession,
will exceed $140 billion by 2014 (Idate, 2012).
Within the global Mobile Telecommunications, Italy holds a key
position, thanks to its worlds highest service penetration and diffusion
rates; its positioning at the forefront in industry innovation at the global
level; and the strong international presence of its key players (Idate, 2012;
Informa, 2012).
As the market grows and its structure evolves, involving a larger num-
ber of heterogeneous rmscharacterized by rm-specic activities per-
formed—and giving rise to a complex set of relationships between them,
the need of rigorously identifying and consequently analyzing its consti-
tutive value-creating or value-destroying activities has emerged, deserv-
ing attention from both researchers and practitioners. In particular, given
the complexity of the aforementioned interrm links and of the resulting
thorough value system structure, the present study claims that the activity
analysis process should benet from the adoption of a value network per-
spective, which extends the traditional value chain model through a refo-
cus on interorganizational, nonsequential, and multilayered relationships.
Therefore, the study aims at identifying which are the core activities
that constitute the mobile content and applications market, how they are
interrelated, and how they can be internalized and combined by different
market players to dene and shape their value domain.
Conceptually, this is achieved through applying the value network
and the strategic network theoretical frameworks to the Italian market
for mobile content and applications. Since different activity combinations
within a given key actor’s perimeter may arise, ve alternative congu-
rations of mobile content value networks are provided— characterized
by different roles of the involved actors, in terms of activities covered—
representing the most signicant cases that emerged and could be
inferred from the information collected through the literature review and
the empirical analysis, based on multiple case studies. As a nal step of
the research, coherently to the perspective taken, the proposed congu-
rations are evaluated with reference to a set of key variables or drivers
derived from value networks and strategic networks theories, in order to
delineate and compare their different characteristics.

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