Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The teaching case describes India’s telecommunications market as it went through a major transformation due to its adopting mobile telephony. The country’s huge market size and low teledensity have provided an attractive opportunity for foreign multinationals. Telenor entered the Indian market through a joint venture with Unitech Wireless under the brand name of Uninor and targeted the value-conscious segment of mobile customers with its attractive pricing schemes. After a few years of rapid growth, Uninor faced a huge business risk when the Supreme Court of India ruled that its purchased spectrum was illegal. The case describes the aftermath of the 2G spectrum scam and how it adversely affected Uninor’s future. At this critical juncture, Telenor faced a strategic decision dilemma. Should it continue its operations in the ever-growing Indian mobile market or should it cut its losses and exit before receiving further damage to its global brand? This teaching case imparts important lessons about doing telecommunications-related business in an emerging economy with high returns and immense business risks.