Describes McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc. ‘s competitive position in 1990. McCaw is the largest mobile phone service company in the United States. It precludes challenges of technological change and the formulation of strategy in an industry with a very uncertain future. Focuses on a strategic investment in one of two new technologies for switches. Solves the general question of how to choose among two uncertain technologies. The tension arises from the potential first-mover advantages of network e … Read more »

Describes McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc. ‘s competitive position in 1990. McCaw is the largest mobile phone service company in the United States. It precludes challenges of technological change and the formulation of strategy in an industry with a very uncertain future. Focuses on a strategic investment in one of two new technologies for switches. Solves the general question of how to choose among two uncertain technologies. The tension arises from the potential first-mover advantages of network effects of currently available technology and the promise of a superior technology available soon.
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Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg
Source: Harvard Business School
21 pages.
Publication Date: Apr 17, 1991. Prod #: 391171-PDF-ENG
McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc. in 1990 (A) HBR case solution