The Lesson of The 4G Mobile Revolution? Keep an Eye Out for Change, Disruption and Regulation


"The 4G Mobile Revolution: Creation, Innovation, and Transformation at EE" is a story about UK's historic merger between two telecommunications giants, Orange and T-Mobile. Written by the former CEO and Communications Director who guided this merger into a dominant market share, this book provides an excellent case study and model to consider following as businesses approach an unpredictable and disruptive future.

The Lesson of The 4G Mobile Revolution? Keep an Eye Out for Change, Disruption, and Regulation

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“Do not let your business become the next Nokia mobile phone.”
– – “The 4G Mobile Revolution: Creation, Innovation, and Transformation at EE

Joint ventures are unique, but the joint venture that created EE was special. This venture represented more than just the joining of two businesses looking for more market share. This joint venture would herald the arrival of 4G Internet service in the UK. Thousands of employees and millions of dollars were on the line as EE embarked with a strategy that required near flawless execution.

The rewards were immense, but so was the risk of failure.

What is The 4G Mobile Revolution About?

The 4G Mobile Revolution: Creation, Innovation and Transformation at EE is a story and almost play-by-play look at the merging of the UK’s biggest mobile and telecommunications brands, Orange and T-Mobile. The book details what leadership planned, the actions that were taken, and the results. Along the way, the former CEO and Communications Director who wrote the book, share advice on how to manage disruption that impacts your whole business.

As the book shares, technology has (and will continue to) impact every business on the planet. As a result, businesses can’t be content to leave “tech stuff” to the IT department alone. They need to be ready.Those businesses that are complacent about technology are the ones that will fail.

To give a specific example, the book highlights Nokia. Nokia, a mobile and telecommunications company, was the leader in the early 90s that lost market share to competitors like Apple and Google. The ironic thing is that Nokia was a pioneer in the industry. The company was so far ahead that they didn’t see the iPhone, which completely revolutionized the mobile industry. Nokia still hasn’t recovered its market share.

This focus on technology doesn’t mean that your business should beef up its own technology efforts exclusively and nothing else. Instead, The 4G Mobile Revolution argues that business leaders also need to change how they think about business. Business owners need to rethink how they deal with customers, competitors, regulators and their employees. Business owners should be taking proactive steps toward technology and business, experimenting and innovating while keeping an eye on the future.

As The 4G Mobile Revolution points out, you never know “… which companies are around the corner …”.

Co-authors Olaf Swantee and Stuart Jackson are former executives at EE.

Swantee, originally part of Orange, was CEO from the Orange-T-mobile merger that became EE in 2010. His background includes extensive work experience — for instance work at several tech companies, including Compaq and HP.

Jackson was a former Communications Director, also an employee from Orange, who assisted in the transition to EE. He is the founder of UP Communications and VP of Communications for Nisan Europe.

What Was Best About The 4G Mobile Revolution?

The best part of The 4G Mobile Revolution is the behind-the-scenes perspective. Swantee and Jackson were former employees of EE and draw on that experience to provide a wealth of insight. Their advice goes beyond EE’s particular situation and speaks to the future of almost all industries. All businesses will need to reconsider how they deal with an uncertain future. The book focuses on a single (and powerful) story but comes with insight that apply to any business.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

The 4G Mobile Revolution is a great case study of a company that was able to pull off something that makes business headlines. If you’ve ever read an article about a business merger and wondered what was going on in the CEO’s head, this book will help. That being said, this singular focus on a company in one point of time makes it hard to generalize. More strategies could be explicitly drawn out of the book to provide more guidance to business owners.

Why Read The 4G Mobile Revolution?

The 4G Mobile Revolution provides an insider’s look at the future of business: lots of change, disruption and regulation. The book provides EE’s response to this from the perspectives of a CEO and Communications Director. The book is aimed at C-suite executives, but it offers general advice for any business leader wanting to improve the long-term business prospects in the long term. The book’s focus of capitalizing on an uncertain future rather than cowering before it, is a positive message for business owners to hear. If you ever wonder what goes through a CEO’s mind while planning a joint venture (or are planning something similar, The 4G Mobile Revolution will provide an interesting case study.

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Charles Franklin Charles Franklin is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He has a background as a professional reviewer, and is also a content provider and customer relations professional.