Techno-economic modelling of wireless network and industry architectures

Timo Smura

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

Abstract

Rapid innovation in the domains of wireless communications and Internet brings new opportunities and challenges for the industry stakeholders. As Internet services and applications migrate to mobile devices, increasing demands for wireless networks arise. At the same time, increasing uncertainty exists about the role of different wireless technologies and actors providing services in the future network environment. Decision-making and forecasting requires therefore a holistic view, taking into account technology, business, and policy-related aspects. This dissertation applies and develops techno-economic modelling methods for the study of wireless networks and services in the context of evolving industry architectures. The research is organised both chronologically and logically into two parts: 1) techno-economic modelling of selected wireless network and industry architecture scenarios, and 2) development of the techno-economic modelling methods in selected areas. The dissertation makes several contributions to the theory and practice of techno-economic modelling. First, the dissertation explores the use of the predominantly technology-focused modelling methods in studying alternative industry architectures. Three separate techno-economic modelling studies are presented, analysing the feasibility of fixed WiMAX network deployments, virtual operator models in mobile networks, and industry architectures for DVB-H -based mobile television. In each of these studies, a systematic modelling process is followed, consisting of the following steps: market and service definition, technology definition, industry architecture definition, revenue modelling, cost modelling, discounted cash flow analysis, and sensitivity analysis. Second, the dissertation advances the theory and practise of techno-economic modelling in selected areas. A novel approach for planning and forecasting technology product evolution and new product feature diffusion is developed, combining existing models of product category diffusion and product unit replacement behaviour with a previously unexplored phenomenon of product feature dissemination. In addition, a holistic framework for analysing the usage of mobile services is developed, linking available usage measurement points to the four main technical components of mobile services: devices, networks, applications, and content. The framework is utilised in a study of mobile data service usage in Finland. Finally, scenario planning methods are used to manage and bound uncertainties related to the future of local area access networks, and more generally suggested as a complement to techno-economic modelling in defining and selecting the technology and industry architectures for analysis.
Translated title of the contributionLangattomien verkko- ja toimiala-arkkitehtuurien teknis-taloudellinen mallintaminen
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Hämmäinen, Heikki, Supervising Professor
  • Hämmäinen, Heikki, Thesis Advisor
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-952-60-4524-5
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-4525-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Keywords

  • techno-economic modelling
  • mobile
  • wireless
  • industry architecture

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