15.020 | Fall 2003 | Graduate
Competition in Telecommunications


Due Dates

Please turn in hard copies of all assignments. Assignments may be turned in to Professor Hausman’s office or during class. Assignments should be double spaced with standard 12 point font. MIT Libraries has many research resources such as Gartner Group, Yankee Group, and Investext. Where appropriate, include footnotes and a bibliography.

Assignment #1: Executive Summary for a Business Opportunity in an Emerging Telecom Segment or Analysis of a Business in Telecom

Should be done by all students individually or in teams of 2.

Option #1: Executive Summary of New Business Opportunity

Using your understanding of course materials and technology, conceptualize an original business opportunity. Create a 5-7 page executive summary describing the opportunity and the competitive landscape of the segment. All papers will be kept confidential. Be creative, yet realistic. Assume your product launch must occur within the next three years.

Note: Do not select a “me-too” company in a different geography. For example, replicating eBay in China is not acceptable. This assignment should focus on emerging technology or emerging opportunities.

Your summary should answer these basic questions at a minimum

  • Describe the product or service, and describe customers for the product.
  • How does it add value? Where does it fit in the value chain?
  • Describe the competitive landscape of the industry. Briefly explain the current state and then predict how it will evolve.
  • What other firms will compete in this space? How will you differentiate your firm from others?
  • You do not need to submit any financial models or time-to-market predictions (you can submit these if you want as an appendix).

Option #2: Analysis of Failed Business in Telecom

Using your understanding of course materials and technology, explain why a telecom company failed or will fail. Create a 5-7 page executive summary describing the business model, the company’s competitive challenges and why the company is or was not sustainable. All papers will be kept confidential.

Note: Do not regurgitate Professor Hausman’s lectures. Also please analyze a specific company as opposed to an industry.

Your summary should answer these basic questions at a minimum:

  • What is the business model and why is it flawed?
  • How does competition affect this company? Are there sufficient barriers to entry?
  • Does government regulation play a role in this company’s demise?
  • What can the company do differently to survive?
  • What are the lessons learned?

Assignment #2: Regulatory Analysis

For 14.28 students only. Has to be done individually.

Each student should research a recent regulatory decision, and analyze the economic impact of this decision. This paper should be 5-7 pages.

  • Briefly describe the decision and factors surrounding the decision.
  • How do you think the market will develop as a result of the decision?
  • Predict what might have changed had the issue been subject to pure market forces.

Assignment #3: Economic Analysis

Has to be done by all students in teams of 4.

The term paper may be on any topic that relates to the themes of the course. It must be business strategy and economics oriented and not solely focused on a telecommunications technology. You have two options.

Option #1

A 10-15 page paper (double spaced), with a 5-8 slide presentation. (You must turn in the slides as well.)

Option #2

A 20-25 page ‘academic’ paper (double spaced). No slides. (If you want a definition of ‘academic’ ask the Professor.)

Note: The best papers take the perspective of one or two companies with contrasting positions, strategies or assets in a specific telecom market. These papers then apply economic and business strategy analysis to propose an approach to the issue(s) you have identified. The approaches should be analyzed within a competitive framework, taking account of relevant regulatory factors.


You can present your findings to the class. This is optional. The presentation should be 10-minutes in length and we will have a 5-minute Q&A. The presentation should be at a “high level” meant for the board or top executives, with details contained in the paper and backup material.

Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2003