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Mobile Policy and Mobile Commerce

Mobile Policy and Mobile Commerce

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Published by: gkmishra2001 at gmail.com on Feb 23, 2009
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Mobile Policy and Mobile Commerce
Gireesh Shrimali, ISBIntroduction
The total number of mobile phone subscribers in the world was estimated at 4 billion inAugust 2008. Around 80% of world's population has mobile phone coverage as of 2006.This figure is expected to increase to 90% by the year 2010. On a numerical basis, Indiais the biggest growth market adding about 7 million subscribers every month. With 305million subscribers, tele-density in the country is still low and the country expects toreach 500 million subscribers by the end of 2010.Current projections suggest that within just a few years more people will be accessing theInternet from mobile phones than from PCs, especially as the latest 3G technologyachieves deeper penetration. This trend is particularly visible in Europe and Asia. Forinstance, NTT DoCoMo's i-Mode portal has reached 48 million users in June 2008, withover 100 thousand Internet sites.M-commerce is about the explosion of applications and services that will becomeaccessible from Internet-enabled mobile devices. It involves new technologies, servicesand business models. It is quite different from "traditional" e-commerce. Mobile phonesor PDAs impose very different constraints than desktop computers. But they also openthe door to a slew of new applications and services for consumers and enterprises, whichwill likely start generating tens of billions of dollars a year in revenue within the next fewyears.
Objective
The objective of this course is to introduce participants to the new applications, servicesand business models of m-commerce: it examines the strategic and operational factorsbehind the successes, failures, and challenges of m-commerce initiatives by focusing onrepresentative examples such as mobile portals, mobile banking/payment, and mobilemarketing/advertising. The course also discusses the implications of telecommunicationspolicy and regulation, in particular the controversial subject of 3G wireless spectrumauctions, with focus on the Indian telecommunications industry.
Structure
The course will be structured as a combination of activities
 
Lectures to build a base of conceptual knowledge
 
Discussion of business cases, examples and illustrationsThe course is expected to be interactive and, in order for students to participateeffectively, they must have read the materials in advance whenever applicable. Studentsshould freely share their prior experiences that reinforce specific points being made ordisagree with conceptual material.
 
Grading
The grading for this course will include of 
 
Class participation (25%): Students are expected to read up the cases andsupporting material in advance, and participate in class discussion in a meaningfulmanner. Some students may be called upon to comment on specific issues at anystage of the discussion, and declining to comment may adversely affect the grade.
 
Individual assignments (45%): There will be three assignments evenly distributedthrough the course. These assignments are essentially the discussion questions forClasses 3, 5, and 8. The assignments (hard copies only) are due at the beginningof the corresponding class and should be deposited in the drop box allocated tothe course.
 
Group project (30%): The project would be one of the following in the mobiletelecom and mobile commerce sectors: (a) an analysis of the value proposition of a not-covered-in-class venture; (b) an analysis of a (or well defined part of)sector; (c) a business plan for a new venture. The students are expected to work inteams of 3-4. The teams are expected to form early on and work on the projectthrough the term, with focused effort in the second half. We will have brief end-of-term presentations on these projects. The project reports (soft copies only) aredue by midnight on Wednesday, December 24.
Other Requirements
 
There are no prerequisites
 
No software is required
 
There are no required text books
Attendance Policy (ISB Default)
If you miss three sessions, you will obtain one letter grade lower than what you wouldhave otherwise received. If four sessions are missed, you will receive a letter grade that istwo levels lower, and if 5 sessions or more are missed, you will receive an F grade for thecourse. The following instances may also be treated as absences unless permission istaken from the faculty:
 
Attending only part of a session, either entering or leaving during a break, or, ingeneral, arriving late or leaving early.
 
Failing to display your name card or not sitting in your assigned seatRemember to take the faculty’s permission in advance for any absences whether excusedor otherwise (extreme illness – supported by a medical certificate, or personalbereavement).
 
Handouts
Handouts will be posted on blackboard during the course of the class.
 
Course Outline
Class 1 (Tuesday, November 25): Introduction and Wireless TechnologyRequired Reading
 
Amagansett Funds (A)-(D) (HBS case)
Additional Reading (hard copies will be made available at LRC)
 
Navigating the Alphabet Soup: Wireless Technology and Applications Primer
 Discussion Questions
1.
 
List the major problems with the current CRM system at Amagansett Funds.Identify root causes for the same.2.
 
Arnoud and Nedra are contemplating the deployment of Treo phones among thewholesalers to supplement and improve the CRM system. Details of these phonesmay be found athttp://www.palm.com/us/products/smartphones/treo750/ . Explainhow deployment of these phones would solve the problems above?3.
 
How would the Treo-based system actually work? You don’t need to know everyabbreviation that would apply. But you need to provide enough conceptualstructure: it should be possible to walk through the sequence of tasks that wouldbe performed from your answer. To focus your answer, concentrate on thefollowing question. What features would the phone need to have for the benefitsidentified in #2 to be obtained, and how would the interaction between the phonesand the existing CRM system take place so that these features can be realized? Inanswering this question, it would be helpful to draw a diagram illustrating theflow of information in a system that includes both the phones and the CRMsystem.4.
 
Although the phones are intended to overcome current problems with the CRMsystem at Amagansett, they may provide value to the business beyond this.Identify the additional ways in which the phones would add value at Amagansettand classify them using the framework used in class.
Class 2 (Friday, November 28): Telecommunications Policy and RegulationRequired Reading
 
Lucent in India (Ivey case)
 
Indian National Telecom Policies 1994 and 1999
Additional Reading (on Blackboard)
 
Petrazzini B. A., “Telecommunications policy in India: the politicalunderpinnings of reform”, Telecommunications Policy, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp 39-51,1996
 
Malik P., “Indian Telecommunications Policy and Regulation: Impact onInvestment and Market Structure”, WDR Discussion Paper 0304.
 Discussion Questions
1.
 
What should the objectives of government telecommunications policy be? Why?2.
 
Evaluate the Indian National Telecom Policies.

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