A Conceptual Framework for Regulatory Practice in Mobile Telecommunications Systems

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Many of today’s essential services depend on infrastructure-based systems such as the energy, the telecommunications and the public transport system. These systems consist of interdependent subsystems that coevolve over time. The governance of these systems is performed by many different types of public and private actors. In addition these systems are subject to technological innovation. End users of their services rely on the quality and provision of these infrastructure-based systems. In order to mitigate unwanted societal outcomes such as outages, high consumer prices and underperformance of service quality, these systems are regulated. These infrastructure-based systems are defined as complex socio-technical systems (CSTS); a concept that denotes that the system’s functioning is dependent on the interactions between the technical, the social and the institutional components of the system. Due to their large scale size and the required upfront investments in infrastructural elements, these CSTS are not easily changed. However, changes in the institutional context, technological innovation or changes in the actor system do occur. The consequences of these changes are hard to predict and lead to uncertainties for authorities that regulate these systems. In this research we study a major change in the mobile telecommunications system to explain the way in which regulators address the (unwanted) consequences and uncertainties due to the ensuing changes within the system.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Janssen, Marijn, Supervisor
  • Crompvoets, Joep, Advisor, External person
Award date27 Nov 2020
Print ISBNs978-90-361-0633-7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • regulation
  • mobile telecommunications
  • regulatory authorities
  • telecommunicaion
  • conceptual framework
  • exploratory regulatory practice
  • regulatory practice
  • Complex socio-technical systems
  • Grounded theory
  • CSTS


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