Threading the needle of the digital divide in Africa,T he barriers and mitigations of infrastructure sharing



Arakpogun EO, Elsahn Z, Nyuur RB & Olan F (2020) Threading the needle of the digital divide in Africa,T he barriers and mitigations of infrastructure sharing. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 161, Art. No.: 120263.

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.

Africa; Coopetition; Digital divide; Infrastructure sharing; Mobile telecoms

Technological Forecasting and Social Change: Volume 161

FundersNorthumbria University
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online24/08/2020
Date accepted by journal11/08/2020
PublisherElsevier BV

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Dr Emmanuel Arakpogun

Dr Emmanuel Arakpogun

SL in Strategy & Strategic Management, Management, Work and Organisation