The Commercial Use of Mobile Telephones

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The Commercial Use of Mobile Telephones

Around the 1980’s mobile telephones started showing up for commercial use. They were analog style, cumbersome and expensive to purchase. In the 1990’s digital technology was born and mobile phones became readily available to everyone and less expensive than the previous ten years. By 1998 over 30% of the world population within the areas of Europe, Asia, and North America had mobile telephones.

With this type of usage of mobile telephones, Mobile Telephone Network plc (MTN) was born in 1993 attempting to earn their share in the South Africa market for mobile telephones. By 1999 MTN had over 1.3 million subscribes in South Africa. MTN is only one of three in the southern hemisphere to receive
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• Each new country entered will present new challenges of entry such as different languages, tribal laws or politics, and local geography.
• Difficulties with installation and maintenance of new stations and equipment.
• Unknown quantities of resources may be depleted with each country added, over and above the normal or planed cost of the project.
• MTN must train enough people to provide services and be able to retain those individuals.
• Competitors may undercut pricing to gain market share.

Following Nigeria the countries that MTN are interested in are Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. MTN’s first key issue holds many facets in determining entry into the other foreign countries. The main areas of concern include, but certainly not limited to, cost, culture and ethics.

To determine if a country will be profitable in the long run, MTN must review all benefits, costs and risks involved. The eleven African countries MTN’s is investigating are considered to have a relatively small economic market because of their low living standards and small purchasing power.

However, 6 of the 11 countries, Gabon, Mauritius, Senegal, Cameroon, Mozambique and Ghana, are on a coast or have a costal port. Geography in these countries insures they have markets and access to export goods through out the world. Telephone services would only help that type of
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