Price-Reduction of Long Haul Fixed-Line Telecommunication Service and Infrastructure in the Middle East
The expansion of telecommunications via fixed-line networks depicts a significant contemporary, credible concern, not only in the Middle East, but also in other parts of the world as interactions with the Middle East regularly occur in and outside its borders. During the thesis, the researcher argued that enhanced negotiations, deeper cultural understanding, and infrastructure expansion could contribute to reducing prices for fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia (UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan).
In the mixed-method case study, the researcher explored fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East; using various data collection procedures over a sustained period of time to collect detailed information. For the quantitative aspect of the study, the researcher conducted a survey, administered to ***; to generalize from the retrieved sample to a population. The researcher uses the sequential procedure; associated with the qualitative approach. In this strategy, the researcher began with a qualitative method and followed up with a quantitative method.
Findings from the study regarding the qualitative method the researcher implemented generally confirm the researcher’s premise to be true. The survey which depicts the quantitative method the researcher utilized, however, did not confirm the researcher’s premise as specific information could not be proven to be true or false for all. Rather, based on location, individuals from some Middle East nations indicated that progress in reducing costs relating to fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements to be better than others. The country’s exposure to more technology as well as the time the country obtained telecommunications knowledge and availability proved to be significant contributing factors to cost reduction results.
TABLE of CONTENTS
iTABLE of CONTENTS
ii vLIST of FIGURES
1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Fixed-Line Telecommunication Service
Significance of the Study..
Organization of the Study
5 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
A Thematic review
Fixed-Line Long-Haul Telecommunications
Procurements in the Middle East/Southwestern Asia
Deeper Cultural Understanding
UAE, “Most Wired” Middle Eastern Country
CHAPTER 3: Methodology
Research Design and Metodology
CHAPTER 4: ANALYSIS
Negotiations and Cultural Differences .
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
LIST of FIGURES
Decade of ICT Growth
Fixed Telephone Lines per 100 Inhabitants
Fixed Telephone Line Penetration by Region
Table 1: World Internet Usage & Population
Table 1: Items in the Value Chain
Table 3: Estimates of UAE Fixed-telephone Lines
“What happens in one part of the globe will affect other parts of the globalized world”
– Paul S. Oh (2009, Â¶ 9).
Fixed-Line Telecommunication Service
In May 1845, the electric telegraph, the newest revolutionary technology at that time threatened to a dramatically disrupt America’s newspaper industry. One editor warned: “This ‘great revolution’ will mean that some publications ‘must submit to destiny, and go out of existence'” (“How a new communications technologyâ€¦,” 2009, Â¶ 1). The telegraph, similar to fixed-line telephones, required a network of wires spread across the regions it would service. In rural or suburban areas, particularly in areas like the Middle East, telecommunications companies have continued to report a marked growth in fixed-line telecommunication service (Searcey, 2007). During the mixed-method thesis, the researcher argues that enhanced negotiations, deeper cultural understanding, and infrastructure expansion may contribute to reducing prices for fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia (UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan).
Significance of the Study
The expansion of telecommunications via fixed-line networks depicts a significant contemporary, credible concern, not only in the Middle East, but also in other parts of the world as interactions with the Middle East regularly occur in and outside its borders. Poor telecommunications service constitutes a significant obstacle to the growth and operations of SMEs in many areas of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In 2006, many Middle Eastern businesses typically had to wait an average of 132 days for a telephone connection. Businesses in this area also experienced five times more telephone service interruptions then firms in other more developed countries. In the book, 2006 Information and communications for development: global trends and policies, the authors, members of the World Bank. Global Information and communication technologies department, reported that
In the quest to confirm the premise for this study, the researcher constructed the research question: How may enhanced negotiations, deeper cultural understanding, and infrastructure expansion contribute to reducing prices for fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia (UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan)?
Organization of the Study
The organization of the thesis includes the following:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Review of the Literature
Chapter 3: Methodology
Chapter 4: Findings
Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations
Chapter 1: Introduction
In chapter one, the researcher introduces the focus for the study, relates the premise of the thesis, the primary research question, the sub-sections addressed, the significance of the study, along with the research methodology the researcher uses to address the study’s research question.
Chapter 2: Review of the Literature
During chapter two, the researcher presents information from researched articles; books; etc. relevant to the research premise retrieved from at least 15 of the accessed articles; books; newspaper excerpts; Websites.
Chapter 3: Methodology
Chapter three reveals the methodology the researcher used to complete the study.
Chapter IV: Findings
Chapter four discusses findings from information the researcher retrieved from the study as well as data from survey results contributing to reducing prices for fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia (UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan).
Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations
Chapter five discusses relevant findings from researched information and survey results, with the researcher’s concluding thoughts. The researcher also notes the most relevant findings of the thesis in this chapter’s conclusion. Based on researched findings, the researcher offers recommendations for prospective research and, in hindsight, relates relevant lessons the researcher obtained from the study efforts.
Just as what happens in one part of the world affects other parts or the world, what happens in the literature review affects the rest of the thesis. During the next phase of the thesis, the literature review chapter, the researcher presents information retrieved from accessed articles, books and Websites to help position this study as a valuable asset in research.
REVIEW of the LITERATURE
“Firms are increasingly realizing that a cellular wireless solution can now provide much more stability than the usual wired connections add to this the versatility of the core technology itself and organizations will find they have a valuable asset built for the long haul”
(“Lincolnshire Drainage Boardâ€¦,” 2010, Â¶ 9).
A Thematic Review
During the literature review chapter, the researcher presents a sampling of information; relevant to enhanced negotiations, deeper cultural understanding, and infrastructure expansion contribute to reducing prices for fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia (UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan)? Information for the literature’s discussion of published information relating to the key terms, include, however are not limited to: Deeper Cultural understanding; fixed-line telecommunication service; infrastructure expansion; long-haul telecommunications service; procurements; Middle East; Southwest Asia; negotiations. The literature review, which synthesizes and summarizes information relating to the study’s focus, implements a thematic review of the literature, organizing segments around a topic or issue, instead of chronologically (“Literature Reviews,” 2010).
Subpart 239.74-Telecommunications Services (2009) relates the following definitions of telecommunications and telecommunications services:
“Telecommunications” means the transmission, emission, or reception of signals, signs, writing, images, sounds, or intelligence of any nature, by wire, cable, satellite, fiber optics, laser, radio, or any other electronic, electric, electromagnetic, or acoustically coupled means
“Telecommunications services” means the services acquired, whether by lease or contract, to meet the Government’s telecommunications needs. The term includes the telecommunications facilities and equipment necessary to provide such services. (Subpart 239.74-Telecommunications Services, 2009, Definitions Section f-g)
James V. De Long (2008), vice president and senior analyst of the Convergence Law Institute, D.C., related points regarding the underlying structure of the disputes that have occurred in the past when infrastructures of telecommunications, transportation, finance, utilities, were established. In the journal article, “Avoiding a tech train wreck: The technology industry is consumed by disputes eerily similar to those that roiled American politics long agoâ€¦,” De Long reported that in the past, numerous disputes at the juncture of technology and politics occurred. These disagreements resulted in a truce with regulatory structures created that addressed immediate crises, yet failed in a number of other ways. “These failures caused significant problems of stasis, rent-seeking, political manipulation, and corruption” (De Long, Â¶ 3). According to De Long (2008), regulations in telecommunications by the Federal Communications Commission has at times suppressed innovation and contributed to waste in the field.
Not only has American seemingly not learned from past mistakes in regulating telecommunications, De Long (2008) stressed; neither have countries, such as those in the Middle East and a number of those, elsewhere in the world. To avoid repeating negative historical experiences, regulatory regimes need to block the control and domination by networks/platforms. In the report, “Infrastructure and Development: A Critical Appraisal of the Macro Level Literature,” Stephane Straub (2007) reported that at times, in some developing companies, “the hope of getting a fixed-line installed is a distant and costly dream” (p. 4). Meantime, the primary option for the individuals waiting for fixed-line telecommunications services would likely be having to us a much too expensive cell phone.
In 2010, much of the fixed-line telecom industry faces growing threats from cable and wireless service competitors.
As the writer of the quote introducing the study section pointed out, more firms are realizing “a cellular wireless solution” generally provides “more stability than the usual wired connectionsâ€¦ [and serves as] a valuable asset built for the long haul” (“Lincolnshire Drainage Boardâ€¦,” 2010, Â¶ 9). In the book, Integration in Asia and Europe: historical dynamics, political issues, and economic perspectives, Paul J. Welfens (2006) reported that in many Asian countries as well as in the EU and in the U.S., digital telecommunications proves challenging due to intense competition. Problems also regularly surface in fixed-line communications in the Middle East as in some areas; the former state-owned operator continues to fill a dominant position in the local network and the access market.
Expansion of long distance, fixed-network telecommunications became more open in the U.S. after 1984 through the 1996 Telecommunications Act, as it unlocked the local loop to competition. “In Asia, the liberalization of telecommunications is rather advanced in Singapore and in Japan but not so much and other Asian countries” (Welfens, 2006, p. 39). Welfens explained that convergence distorted the market demarcation between TV and Telecommunications as well as between data traffic and voice telephony. In addition to concerns regarding convergence, competition in the area of fixed-line telecommunications serviced has continued to increase.
In the book, Organisations (sic) and the business environment, David J. Campbell and Tom Craig (2005) have noted that the rapid changes in communications technology have contributed to the evolution of the descriptive term, the “communications revolution.” Progress in First World telephone systems has supported the dramatic rise in mobile telephony, email, text messaging, and music and video downloads. Despite this progress, a dearth of a fixed-line infrastructure exists in some Third World countries. This absence of fixed-line infrastructure proves to be “a particular advantage in boosting the growth of modern telecommunications in Third World countries” (Campbell & Craig, 2005, p. 317). The need for modern telecommunications in these countries also reflects major implications for trade and economic development in the area of fixed-line telecommunications.
Fixed-line Long-Haul Telecommunications Service
As numerous customers have relinquished their second fixed telecommunications lines or completely transferred to mobile networks, many incumbent operators experienced decreases in their number of fixed-line subscribers. The increasing competition has lead to loss of revenues and reduced profit margins for fixed-line services. Telecommunications services operators experienced “the pressures of mobile infrastructure competition, the challenge of VoIP and regulation to open up the local loop, so that unbundlingâ€¦ [could] take place, with servers providers competing in the local loop” (Organisation for Economicâ€¦, 2006, p. 55). To counter these concerns, incumbent operators of fixed networks have begun to consider co-operating with “converged” architectures with mobile and VoIP ventures. As a result, fixed-to-mobile convergence began transforming the large fixed-line operators’ fixed infrastructure architecture.
Long distance transmission, identified as the chief change contributing to national, international, terrestrial or sub-sea infrastructure costs, stimulated the growth of the Internet, a primary components of the global fiber network. All growth relating to fixed-line telecommunications, however, ultimately depends on the country’s economic circumstances as well as its “(over -) availability of capacity” (Organisation for Economicâ€¦, 2006, p. 95). The world’s constantly expanding network of submarine fiber optic cables also proves to be a critical component fixed-line telecommunications services. For more than a decade, the Internet, as well as an ongoing international trend of privatization of national telecommunications industries, has contributed to the increasing demand for broadwidth. This demand has surpassed the resources satellite transmission offers in voice and data. “The fraction of transoceanic voice and data transmitted over undersea cables has grown in the past 12 [17in 2010] years from 2% to as high as 80% in 2000” (Organisation for Economicâ€¦, p. 96). The numbers of cables on the seabed has matched the growth of demand. In regard to progress made by geostationary satellites for long distance transmission, their cost, delay, limitations and reliability contribute to them being deemed a redundancy backup for WDM fiber.
Procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia
In some parts of the Middle East and other parts of the world, partly due to the increase of mobiles, the use of fixed-line voice revenues has decreased. To improve profits, in response to the reduction in revenues; telcos have begun changing to broadband services. In the Arab Middle East, fixed-line teledensity initially appears extremely low; compared to teledensity rates of approximately 60% in the United States. The lower figures, however, may be attributed to the larger household sizes in the Middle East and not as low as they may initially appear. For example, in Saudi Arabia which reports a teledensity of just 16%, approximately 75% of homes in this region use fixed-line telephones (Paul Budde & #8230;, 2009). In the article, “Etisalat: The Middle East’s largest telecoms company is attracting greater scrutiny as it increases in size,” Will Hadfield (2008) reported that Etisalat, reportedly the largest telecoms company in the Middle East, is responsible for the health of fixed-line and mobile telecommunications services there.
Middle Eastern governments have liberalized fixed-line markets. Nevertheless, the only real competitors to companies such as Etisalat are reportedly international calling cards and VoIP-based services. Even though licenses have been awarded in some countries, like Bahrain, “for fixed-line domestic and international servicesâ€¦ none of the alternative operators individually have yet made much impact” (Paul Budde & #8230;, 2009, Â¶ 5). Most national fixed-line operators are now partially privatized; primarily through share sales. These sales, however, are generally only available to individual citizens of the home country.
The noted uncertain economic outlook for the Middle East as well as the universal decrease in loyalty to technology platforms and providers will potentially keep contract lengths shorter than in the past. Some clients and providers may even prefer to contract for pay-per-use billing. Previous best practices in telecommunications and technology procurement typically “favored long-term (up to 10 years) solutions-based contracts rather than pay-per-use billing” (“Telecommunications Predictionsâ€¦,” 2010, Â¶ 2). The choice of contract, nevertheless, needs to benefit both negotiating parties. The long-term contract that provides a steady flow of income for the supplier should simultaneously ensure the customer would receive better quality with lower costs.
Due to constraints evolving from the global economy, however, some may not agree to terms for longer than three years; making long-term deals rarer. To improve their cash flow, some suppliers may determine to reduce their scope of geographic or functional, etc. operations. The consumerization of technology as well as the growing inclination to change suppliers or purchase usage on a pay-per-use basis may additionally affect contract lengths. Regarding the solutions market, this tendency may reflect the increasing desire for shorter-term contracts or contracts with built-in flexibility that would operate like a series of shorter contracts.
The contract needs to be designed with its roots in reality. The supplier should be certain the organization can realistically deliver. Costs need to include sufficient margin to insure the relationship will prove worthwhile for both parties; so that it will more likely benefit both parties over the long haul (Telecommunications Predictionsâ€¦, 2010).
Negotiation involves the participating parties being willing to accept a compromise between their ultimate goal and the basic minimum they may consider. The term “negotiation,” presumes that both common interests and conflict exist between the two or more parties participating in the negotiation process. When two or more parties fail to resolve issues unilaterally, each side of the negotiation effort agrees to discuss issues and attempt to arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement. William Wunderle (2007), MBA from Benedictine College; served extensively in the Middle East, explained in the article, “How to negotiate in the Middle East,” that no one exclusive right way exists as a guide to negotiations. There are, however, “effective and less effective approaches that vary according to contextual factors. As negotiators understand that their counterparts may see things very differently than they do, they will be less likely to make negative judgments and more likely to make progress” (Wunderle, para. 26). In cross-cultural negotiations, as the parties belong to different cultures, they may frequently think, feel, and behave differently.
Conducting negotiations involves a three-phase process, Wunderle (2007) explained: 1) Pre-negotiation, 2) the negotiation, and 3) post-negotiation. During the typically most critical phase of the process, the pre-negotiation, “each party identifies its strengths, assesses its interests, and works to understand the negotiation’s wider context” (Wunderle, Some Negotiating Basics Section, para. 3). For negotiators to be effective, they need to base their plan and strategy not only on the particular situation, but also on the individuals involved.
In American business, negotiators generally consider the primary goal to be the differing parties signing a contract. Americans perceive the contract to constitute a binding agreement; outlining both parties’ obligations, rights, and roles. Middle Eastern business negotiators may not share the same aims and expectations. Generally, the Middle Eastern negotiators seek to establish sustainable business relationships; not mere business contracts. Middle Easterners prefer things remain vaguer as they do not subscribe to the Western tradition of legalism. Personal relationships based on loyalty and reciprocity, which require that the parties invest time, significantly impact negotiations in the Middle East.
Deeper Cultural Understanding
Jeswald Salacuse noted that a person’s culture appears to influence ten factors in the negotiation process (Wunderle, 2007). Culturally diverse responses in a negotiation may include:
1. Goal may range from the signing of the contract to establishing a relationship
2. Attitudes may range from “Win/Lose” to “Win/Win.”
3. Personal styles vary from informal to formal.
4. Communications vary from direct to indirect.
5. Time Sensitivity may ranges from high to Low
6. Emotionalism varies from high to low
7. Agreement form may range from specific to general
8. Agreement Building varies from bottom up to top down
9. Team Organization may range from one leader to a consensus
10. Risk Taking may vary from high to low (Wunderle, 2007).
Even though some individuals may not perceive that a significant direct relationship exists between a person’s personality and negotiation style, Stephen P. Robbins (2005) explains in the book, Organizational Behavior, that negotiating styles do differ in various national cultures. “The cultural context of the negotiations significantly influences the amount and type of preparation for bargaining, the relative emphasis on task vs. interpersonal relationships, the tactics use, and even where the negotiations should be conducted” (Robbins, p. 439). To illustrate some of these differences, in negotiations perceptions, Robbins related details from a study which compared Arabs, North Americans, and Russians. The researchers who conducted this particular study examined the three cultures’ negotiating styles and the way each culture responded to opponents’ arguments. They also explored the three cultures’ approach when they would make concessions as well as how they dealt with negotiating deadlines.
In the book, Infrastructure to 2030: Telecom, land transport, water and electricity, the authors, members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, explained that infrastructures comprise the basic foundation of contemporary economies and societies. In the future, telecommunications will continue to depict essential components for development and growth. & #8230;Infrastructure investment requirements over the coming decades will be massive, running into trillions of dollars. Part of this investment will be in the developing world” (Organisation for Economicâ€¦ 2006, Book Overview section). The Oxford English Dictionary defines infrastructure as: “The basic physical and organizational structures (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.”
Straub (2007) pointed out a number of concerns regarding the deficiency in telecommunications infrastructure in the Middle-East. Sometimes, the infrastructure deficits may negatively impact an organization’s productivity by handicapping the ability of the business to efficiently conduct particular parts of its business. Repeated problems related to telecommunications infrastructure deficiencies may also erect significant barriers to the organization’s operation and growth.
Some researchers have predicted that the world s population will increase from 6.2 billion individuals in 2002 to more than 8 billion in 2030; an average 1% increase each year. “The share of the world population living in developing regions willâ€¦increase from 76% today to 80% in 2030” (Organisation for Economicâ€¦, 2006, p. 159). Projections for the future relating to technology for telecommunications infrastructure include that conventional thinking will slowly change as:
New generations and types of computerized technology replace the circuit switched, fixed wireline infrastructures with packet (radio-based) communications, so that complementary parallel of infrastructures will come into being. The key impact of technology — in lowering cost — is being implemented in Internet levels of pricing of voice, with voice over IP (VioIP). A whole new infrastructure lies in the future driven by a far lower cost pricing. Such an infrastructure also requires high-speed access so the advent of updating technology is for the copper local loop (xDSL) and wireless access technologies for the local loop will be increasingly important. Fiber optics can be considered as a major technology factor and the continuing advance in propagation capacity with new variations of wave division multiplexing (WDM) will continue to reduce costs per channel by orders of magnitude. In hand with this enormous expansion in ICT usage with Internet access which is driving infrastructure investments and its usageâ€¦ (Organisation for Economicâ€¦ 2006, p. 74).
Table 1 portrays a summary of the items the value chain includes.
In the report, the changing nature of telecommunications/information infrastructure, members of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (U.S.) and members of the National Research Council (U.S.) (1995). Stressed that investments by the private-sector comprises the key for future infrastructure. Authors of this report also noted that regulatory policies prove critical to ensure a positive, productive environment for expanding telecommunications infrastructure. Regulations may either hinder or encourage the expansion of telecommunications infrastructure. In fact, when regulations are too stringent, investors may choose not to participate. Other challenges to private-sector investments may include the depreciation policy in the country and operating constraints, such as a company being forced to unbundle particular services.
Public-sector support also proves to be a significant component in the expansion of telecommunications infrastructure. “Changes in regulatory policy are the only realistic means of increasing infrastructure investment by any effective amount and, & #8230;may be necessary to maintain the status quo” (pp. 202-203). For countries, including those in the Middle East, to preserve and advance their telecommunications infrastructure, their regulations need to encourage private-sector investment.
Since the start of the BellSouth in the U.S. during 1875, the primary infrastructure stock in telecommunications has customarily been in fixed-line technologies. Throughout the past 135 years, the fixed-line technologies, initially identified as analog voice telephony, “consisted of three major elements, the local loop, the switches and a trunk or long distance network. From the 1970s forward, the majority of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries moved to digitized voice with codes so two primary signaling systems operated in the local loop; “the original analog and also the new digitized voice, using pulse code modulation (PCM)” (Organisation for Economicâ€¦, 2006, p. 141). Currently, in response to pressure from mobile infrastructure competition as well as VoIP, and regulations to open up the local loop, the profitable voice margins have begun to disappear.
In the Middle East, telecom infrastructure ranges from elementary to extremely advanced, however, little alternative infrastructure exists in the region. In the majority of cases, the current fixed-line operator maintains the sole responsibility for infrastructure, as little alternative infrastructure exists in the Middle East. If it had been available, cable TV may have created the foundation for an alternative infrastructure, the UAE, however, does have other operators with less infrastructure. Extensive and modern submarine cable networks, which serve the Middle East, have benefited the region. The exploding need for greater capacity, nevertheless, continues to increase in the Middle East, as the region experiences a satellite capacity shortage. As a result, fixed-line telecommunications operators have added new cables. Still others are under construction or in the planning process (Paul Budde & #8230;, 2009).
The Gulf countries also have sophisticated infrastructure. Bahrain’s Batelco completed the migration of all services from its original network to an NGN [Next Generation Network] in January 2009. Kuwait began FttH network developments back in 2005 and further contracts have been awarded since. In the UAE, Etisalat’s FttH project is being completed in phases, with the first being completed in January 2008. UAE alternative operator du serves all residential units within its ‘footprint’ via FttH. In Saudi Arabia, Mobily, ITC and Bayanat Al-Oula reached agreement in 2006 to build and operate a fibre optic backbone network covering most of the country. The first stage of the 12,600km network was completed by early 2007 and the entire network was completed in May 2009. (Paul Budde & #8230;, 2009, NGN Section, Â¶ 2).
“PGI 239.74 — Telecommunications Services,” revised in (2006) under the Defense Procurement and Acquisition
Policy, states regarding policy for foreign carriers that:
i. Frequently, foreign carriers are owned by the government of the country in which they operate. The foreign governments often prescribe the methods of doing business.
ii. In contracts for telecommunications services in foreign countries, describe the rates and practices in as much detail as possible. It is DoD policy not to pay discriminatory rates. DoD will pay a reasonable rate for telecommunications services or the rate charged the military of that country, whichever is less.
iii. Refer special problems with telecommunications acquisition in foreign countries to higher headquarters for resolution with appropriate State Department representatives.
The following definitions reflect a sampling of those noted in 239.7401: “Subpart 239.74 -Telecommunications Services,” revised in (2009) by the Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy:
a) “Common carrier” means any entity engaged in the business of providing telecommunications services which are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission or other governmental body.
b) “Foreign carrier” means any person, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, governmental body, or corporation not subject to regulation by a U.S. governmental regulatory body and not doing business as a citizen of the United States, providing telecommunications services outside the territorial limits of the United States.
c) “Governmental regulatory body” means the Federal Communications Commission, any statewide regulatory body, or any body with less than statewide jurisdiction when operating under the State authority. The following are not “governmental regulatory bodies”
1) Regulatory bodies whose decisions are not subject to judicial appeal; and
2) Regulatory bodies which regulate a company owned by the same entity which creates the regulatory body.
d) “Noncommon carrier” means any entity other than a common carrier offering telecommunications facilities, services, or equipment for lease
The article, “Realising (sic) value in whole-of-enterprise telecommunication contracts” (2008), explained that a number of major organizations have appointed one service provider for their whole-of-enterprise data, fixed line and mobile telecommunications. When negotiating contracts, both the customer and telecommunications services provider may benefit from considering:
1. Transitioning from existing vendors
2. Clarifying responsibility
3. Avoiding lock-in service providers
4. Considering contract management and governance
5. Maintaining competitive pricing
6. Managing the process of technology evolution
7. Building flexibilityâ€¦ (“Realising value inâ€¦,” 2008, Â¶ 2-8).
When both parties address these vital issues through the procurement and negotiation process, the customer will more likely realize value in their whole-of-enterprise telecommunications arrangements (“Realising value inâ€¦,” 2008,).
UAE, “Most Wired” Middle Eastern Country
In the book, International business: A global perspective, Marios I. Katsioloudes and Spyros Hadjidakis (2007) reported that when compared to other countries in the Middle East’s region, the UAE’s telecommunications infrastructure proves more modern. Some researchers consider the UAE as “the most wired” state in the Middle East region as residents in the UAE residents, just as residents in Western countries, may easily access all modes of communications. Katsioloudes and Hadjidakis reported:
Within the UAE, Etisalat has a fixed exchange line capacity of 1.4 million telephone lines — 100% digital — of which around 50,000 are ISDN in addition to the leased circuits. The number of telephone connections increased from 1,020,097 lines in 2000 to 1,052,930 in 2001, which represents a penetration of 34 lines per inhabitants. The number for 2005 is estimated at 1,362,000, placing the country squarly at the top of the list in the Arab world, and among leading nations worldwide in telecommunications. During the year 2001, Etisalat announced a substantial reduction in its tariffs. ISD tariffs were reduced by a whopping 34% on overage for 225 countries including some reduction of up to 79%. The proliferation fo mobiles has decreased the dependency on payphones from many subscribers. Consequently, the number of payphones decreased from 28,839 to 28,623 in 2001. (Katsioloudes & Hadjidakis, p. 263)
Katsioloudes and Hadjidakis (2007) reported that Etisalat, provides fixed-line services over the next generation network (NGN) in the UAE. Services include providing voice data over a single source to enable what is known as Triple-Play functionality. With lowered costs in providing services, other countries in the Middle East will likely begin to expand their telecommunications infrastructure to begin to better compare with the UAE.
“Both methods [quantitative and qualitative] have strengths and weaknesses.
When used together, these methods can be complimentary”
– Elham Ahmadnezhad (2009).
Research Design and Methodology
In the PowerPoint presentation, “Research Design Mixed Methods,” Elham Ahmadnezhad (2009), MD. PhD Student of Epidemiology, Tehran, reported the differences between quantitative data and qualitative research and noted that strengths from both methods compliment mixed method research. Ahmadnezhad explained:
Quantitative data can reveal generalizable information for a large group of people. These data often fail to provide specific answers, reasons, explanations or examples.
Qualitative research provides data about meaning and context regarding the people and environments of study. Findings are often not generalizable because of the small numbers & narrow range of participants.
Both methods have strengths and weaknesses. When used together, these methods can be complimentary. (Ahmadnezhad, 2009, slide 5)
In the mixed-method case study, the researcher explored fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia (UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan); using various data collection procedures over a sustained period of time to collect detailed information. For the quantitative aspect of the study, the researcher conducted a survey, administered to ***; to generalize from the retrieved sample to a population. For the strategy, associated with the qualitative approach, the researcher conducted case study research; using the sequential procedure. In the process, the researcher began with “a qualitative method for exploratory purposes and following up with a quantitative method with a large sample so that the researcher can generalize results to a population” (Ahmadnezhad, 2009, slide 5). For a sequential study, mixed method, Ahmadnezhad pointed out, the researcher generally organizes:
â€¦ the report of procedures into quantitative data collection and qualitative data analysis followed by qualitative data and collection and analysis. Then, in the conclusions or interpretation phase of the study, the researcher comments on how the qualitative findings helped to elaborate on or extend the quantitative results. Alternatively, the qualitative data collection and analysis could come first followed by the quantitative data collection and analysis. In either structure, the writer typically will present the project as two distinct phases, with separate headings of each. (Ahmadnezhad, 2009, slide 20)
For the qualitative section of the study, the researcher conducted a methodical search of literature through a variety of sources, including, but not limited to:
1. Questia Media database (online library)
2. Highbeam Research database
After retrieving relevant information, the researcher compiled data into sub-categories for further assessment. The researcher did not note any known or anticipated sources of error in collected data. English depicted the language of the published sources. While the focus of the information in this study specifically related to the Middle East, the information may also be applicable to fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in other areas.
The mixed method case study research design provided a blueprint for the researcher to build the study. At the beginning of the thesis, the researcher developed a primary research questions that addresses the premise of the study through research retrieved during the literature review and survey results. Ultimately, the researcher presents conclusions about the answer to the study’s questions. During the next chapter, however, the analysis, the researcher relates findings from the mixed-method research.
“Changes in regulatory policy are the only realistic means of increasing infrastructure investment by any effective amount”
(Computer Science, 1995, pp. 202-203).
In the analysis chapter, the researcher presents a number of findings relating to this study’s focus of factors that could contribute to reducing prices for fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia (UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan).
Table 1 depicts world internet usage and population statistics from September 2005. Internet usage constitutes one factor that will continue to contribute to the number of fixed-lines the Middle East may need in the future for its telecommunications services.
Table 1: World Internet Usage & Population (Organisation for Economicâ€¦, 2006, p. 74).
Population (2005 est.)
Population % of World
Internet Usage, Latest Data
Usage Growth 2000-05 (%)
% Population (penetration)
World users (%)
23 867 500
3 622-994 130
21 422 500
2 23-779 183
Latin America / Caribbean
70 699 084
Oceania / Australia
33 443 448
17 655 737
6 420-102 722
Figure *** depicts estimations of growth during the 10-year ar period from 1998 through 2008.
Figure ***: Decade of ICT Growth (Magpantay, 2010, p. 2).
Figure *** depicts fixed line penetration rates worldwide and for developed and developing regions, between 1997 and 2007.
Figure ***: Fixed Telephone Lines per 100 Inhabitants, 1997-2007 (Magpantay, 2010, p. 2).
By the end of 2008, as noted in Figure ***, 72 million fixed telephone lines had penetrated regions throughout the globe.
Figure ***: Fixed Telephone Line Penetration by Region (Magpantay, 2010, p. 6).
The components included in Table 2, relating to the organization’s value chain, affect the costs in telecommunications infrastructure in the Middle East.
Table 2: Items in the Value Chain (Campbell & Craig, 2005, p. 563).
Receipt, handling, and storage of materials (inputs). Stock control and distribution of inputs into final product.
Transformation of inputs into final product.
Storage and distribution of FG.
Marketing and Sales
Making the products available to the market in persuading people to buy.
Installation and after still support.
Purchasing of resources.
Products, process and resource development.
Planning, finance, information systems, management.
Human Resource Management
Recruitment, selection, training, reward, and motivation.
Table 3 depicts the estimates from Etisalat of the number of fixed telephone lines in the UAE.
Table 3: Estimates of UAE Fixed-telephone Lines (Katsioloudes & Hadjidakis, 2007, p. 663).
Number of subscribers in thousands
Negotiations and Cultural Differences
To enhance negations when working with individuals from a culture that differs from their own, the organizations’ leaders should know the differences and adjust for those differences when:
Preparing for bargaining
Perceptions regarding the tasks and personal relationships
Type of tactics to implement
Location where negotiations are to occur (Robbins, 2005)
Robbins (2005) reported the following differences the researchers found concerning cultural considerations when Arabs, North Americans and Russians engage in negotiating contracts:
Tried to persuade by relying on facts and appealing to logic.
countered opponents’ arguments with objective facts.
made some concessions early in the negotiation to establish a relationship, and usually reciprocated opponents concessions.
Considered strict deadlines important.
Attempted to persuade by appealing to an emotion.
Countered opponents’ arguments with subjective feelings.
Made concessions a tool at the bargaining process, and Usually reciprocated opponents’ concessions.
Considered deadlines casually.
Based arguments on asserted ideals.
Made few, if any, concessions.
Perceived concession an opponent offered as a weakness, and Seldom reciprocated concessions.
Tended to ignore deadlines (Robbins, 2005, p. 440).
Findings from research in the study note the following ways to expand infrastructure:
Utilizing the Internet and the World Wide Web
Secure public-sector support
Research and development
Trials of new applications
Making information electronically available for carriers
Promotion of positive international policies. (Computer Scienceâ€¦, 1995).
From the survey the researcher conducted for this mixed-method study, the researcher’s findings varied. Findings included:
Infrastructure expansion: 100% reported perceiving this will assist in price reduction.
Cultural understanding: Mixed reviews reported in this area: 50% confirmed understanding the culture would help, while 50% or respondents stated cultural understanding “might” not help.
Humanitarian efforts: The majority of participants responded that humanitarian efforts would not help. One person further asserted that humanitarian efforts would only help if limited to education of telecommunication infrastructure expansion etc.; that anything else would be a hindrance.
Security: Surprisingly, survey results indicated this WASN’T an issue (researcher was appalled). The majority of respondents reported they didn’t believe security enhancement would make a difference in price reduction in the locations, a result the researcher perceived as “interesting.”
Survey findings also indicated the following:
Fixed-Line Long-haul Average price
DS3: 10-$20,000.00 in Europe
DS3: 2-$9,000.00 in America
DS3: $75-100,000 in the Middle East
“National cultures are known to influence the values, behaviour (sic), and cognitive models of individuals and to complicate the understanding and working relationship of people”
(Bouncken & Winker, 2008, Â¶ 4).
During the mixed-method study, the researcher investigated the premise that enhanced negotiations, deeper cultural understanding, and infrastructure expansion may contribute to reducing prices for fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East/Southwest Asia (UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan). Findings from the study regarding the qualitative method the researcher implemented generally confirm the researcher’s premise to be true. The survey which depicts the quantitative method the researcher utilized, however, did not confirm the researcher’s premise as specific information could not be proven to be true or false for all. Rather, based on location, individuals from some Middle East nations indicated that progress in reducing costs relating to fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements to be better than others. The country’s exposure to more technology as well as the time the country obtained telecommunications knowledge and availability proved to be significant contributing factors to cost reduction results.
To reduce costs relating to fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East, the research confirms that telecommunications companies need to deliberately enhance negations when working with individuals from a culture that differs from their own. Findings the researcher presented during the study noted that differences exists in bargaining, perceptions of the tasks and personal relationships, tactics the organization plans to implement and even the specific for the location where the contracting parties will meet. Enhancing negations requires first and foremost that both parties understand their cultural differences.
Those cultural differences, as the researcher indicated in the previous chapter may include the ways one culture uses to try to persuade the other, how one culture may counter the other’s arguments, ways one culture makes concessions, and one culture’s view of deadlines, compared to the others. To reduce costs relating to expanding telecommunications infrastructure, organizations need to secure private-sector investments. Research reveals that government initiatives greatly influences the securing these investments.
The extraordinary price difference in fixed-line long-haul average price ranges, reported in the analysis chapter of the study, the researcher asserts, prompts the question: What are prices higher in the Middle-East? From the researched information in the study and the findings from the survey the researcher conducted, the researcher argues that prices are higher in the Middle-East for various reasons which include:
Social responsibility drives cost to an extent by default
Security costs (unfortunately)
a TRUE LACK of INFRASTRUCTURE (if the service isn’t available… one must make it available. Frequently; this is from scratch to include construction costs, trenching, etc.) the original infrastructure expansion information was LITERALLY the only thing I could tweak, integrate with what I have in my government portion, and consider useable. Stay on that track; (with good information) and you’re good to go. Include reasons WHY (on the business side) its so hard to expand (to include land mass (locale) i.e. parts of Afghanistan just AREN’T PRACTICAL to introduce and depend on fixed-line telecom because of the mountainous terrain – microwave and/or satellite is more reliable and less of a hassle), business practices, technological understanding (or the lack thereof on a grand scale), education (BRIEFLY touch this… thoughts on this topic exceeds 75 pages EASILY), economy, conflicts.
Prices have been reduced by at least 2000.00 a month average since 2005 per S.Krebs of DoD systems (interview)- I addressed this piece heavily in the government side of the paper, but if you’d like, you can mildly touch on it with commercial information of price reduction if you find any.
touch on fixed-line reliability and how it would not only increase land line teledensity, it can also (potentially) enhance wireless networks (wireless can only BE so… with wires).
The more we understand some of these aspects (cultural understanding) the more one (or business) can effectively interact (or choose to not interact) with a nation state. This will also enhance negotiations
Humanitarian efforts will work ONLY if THEY ARE LIMITED to INTRODUCTION of TECHNOLOGY and TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT VICE BELIEF STRUCTURES, RELIGIOUS THEORIES, ETC…
As forcing personal beliefs on others does not change things, the researcher recommends that to reduce prices for fixed-line long haul telecommunications service procurements in the Middle East, government entities should consider developing regulations that compliment potential private fixed-line carriers.
The Disclaimers are a listing of areas within the general subject of your paper that you cannot, or will not, evaluate and the reasons for not covering these areas. Some of the reasons may be those areas that are “classified,” “too large an area to cover within the research,” or “there is not enough information about this particular area.”
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ADDITIONAL, for consideration:
Middle East Maps
First three are from:
This one from: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Afghanistan&form=QBIR&qs=n&sc=8-11#focal=8a3fd2be8be7943c3471c8c87fbf55c0&furl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blythe.org%2Fafghan-maps%2FAfghanistan-color.jpg
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