Threading the needle of the digital divide in Africa: The barriers and mitigations of infrastructure sharing

Arakpogun, Emmanuel, Elsahn, Ziad, Nyuur, Richard and Olan, Femi (2020) Threading the needle of the digital divide in Africa: The barriers and mitigations of infrastructure sharing. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 161. p. 120263. ISSN 0040-1625

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120263

Abstract

Coopetition is prevalent in today's dynamic business environment and has attracted research interests. Using coopetitive-based view, this study examines the antecedents and drivers of infrastructure sharing (IS) among local and multinational mobile network operators (MNOs) in Africa. Based on 21 interviews with different stakeholders in seven sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries, we develop an integrative framework of industry/market, technological, and institutional factors that affect IS between MNOs. We find evidence of institutional factors shaping the impact of the industry structure and technological factors on firms’ propensity to engage in coopetitive strategies. There is evidence that in contexts with low-level IS, inadequate regulatory interventions mean that the existing market conditions are reproduced, leading to further competitive behaviours from MNOs. For high- level IS, MNOs tend to engage in further coopetitive strategies through strategic learning and cooperate to resolve technological incompatibilities and engage in standards settings. We extend the existing scholarly works on coopetition and IS literature by providing an in-depth understanding of the obstacles faced by MNOs in adopting IS. The study further highlights that IS requires a shift from the competitive-based logic to a dynamic, coopetitive one, which is nonetheless challenging to achieve with limited institutional capacity and support.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Africa, Coopetition, Digital divide, Infrastructure sharing, Mobile telecoms
Subjects: J900 Others in Technology
L100 Economics
L300 Sociology
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 10:15
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2020 10:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/44084

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