14:332:301 Wireless Revolution

Course  Catalog Description: This “flipped” undergraduate course provides a broad view of how new technologies, economic forces, political constraints, and competitive warfare have created and shaped the “wireless revolution” in the last 50 years.  It offers a view inside the world of corporate management-- how strategies were created and why many have failed—and gives students a chance to develop their own strategic skills by solving real-world problems.  The course includes a historical overview of communications and communication systems, basics of wireless technology, technology and politics of cellular, basics of corporate finance, economics of cellular systems and spectrum auctions, case studies in wireless business strategy, the strategic implications of unregulated spectrum, a comparison of 3G, 4G, 5G and WiFi, IoT and the wireless future. Students are required to interact during the lectures in a flipped classroom setting—necessitating pre-lecture preparation, in-class attendance and participation.

Credits and contact hours: 3 credits; 1 hour and 20-minute session twice a week, every week


Topics to be covered: 

1.    Systems Thinking and the nature of multi-disciplinary strategy

2.    Communications, Common Carriers and Monopoly: a historical perspective

3.    Wires and Waves: the age of instant communication

4.    Mobile telephony on the eve of Cellular

5.    Technology, Economics and Politics: the long road to cellular

6.    Frequency and the cost of coverage

7.    Channels and the cost of spectrum

8.    Digital communications and the cost of bits

9.    Conflicting standards; new regulatory strategies

10.   Unlicensed spectrum; cordless telephones and WiFi

11.   3G, 4G, 5G and Infostations

12.   Assets, profits and stock price: how companies keep score

13.   Case studies in strategy: One-2-One, Nextel, CDMA v TDMA, AT&T, Iridium, 3G, Spectrum Auctions and Investing