Short courses


Telecommunications Business Environment

  • 150 hours
  • 8 weeks (2pm to 6pm each Wednesday) + optional exam
  • 18 Jan 2023


This short course aims to give you an appreciation of the external environment in which a telecommunications business operates, as well as an understanding of how a company can successfully conduct business in this environment.

Two perspectives are taken:

  • scene-setting descriptions of the macro-economic and regulatory environment of today (focusing on the UK, but also with a global view)
  • an introduction to the management of a telecommunications business

The course is run by UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE).

Who this course is for

The Department's courses/CPD modules are aimed at those working in the telecommunications industry such as researchers, engineers, IT professionals and managers. 

They're particularly suited to graduates in electronic and electrical engineering, communications engineering and computer science who want to further their knowledge on this topic, or work towards a Master's degree. 

You don't need to have any pre-requisite qualifications to take this course.

Course content

The following topics will be covered:

Introduction to telecommunications and ICT business 

Scene-setting for today's business: covering the types of network operator and the range of competitors. The concept of ICT is defined, together with the convergence issues. This set of lectures will position the interaction of all the factors affecting an operator: macro-economic, the market place, government policy, regulation, competition, legacy aspects and technology changes, customer expectation and globalisation. The dotcom bubble burst will be examined for lessons for today's business environment. 

Business strategic drivers

The concept of strategy is introduced and applied to a network operator (fixed, mobile, voice and data). The various strategy analysis tools (PEST, PUV, Porters 5 Forces, and SWOT) are introduced and example strategies are discussed. 

The regulatory and legal scene

The UK and European legal and regulatory framework is presented, showing the constraints and opportunities offered to incumbent and other operators and service providers. Besides interconnect issues, the Telecommunications Strategic Review is described, as is the role of OFCOM in regulating in a converged world. 

Review of the industry 

This section presents a quantified view of the industry from a world-wide perspective. The major cost, revenue, demand, service and technology trends are analysed. 

Infrastructure economics 

Description of the cost dynamics of a telecommunications infrastructure, covering access and core - fundamental to all networks (including railways, airlines, electricity supply, etc), fixed and variable cost, effect of volume on unit cost, cost and revenue apportionment, and long-run costs. 

Product management and marketing 

An overview of the principles of marketing and product management is presented, together with recent practical examples. The scope includes: market segmentation, pricing, promotion, sales strategies, customer-relationship management, billing issues and product/service development. In particular, the product life cycle is used as a structure to consider all aspects of product/service management. Although these principles are generic, the examples given will relate specifically to the telecommunications industry. 

Business cases 

The key aspects of a business case are introduced, covering its role in corporate governance, the essential content, the financial case and supporting evidence.

Financial management 

The role of financial management in any business is described, with detailed application to the telecommunications network operators' functions. You'll gain an understanding of financial statements and how to read them, as well as the principles of amortisation and depreciation, ebitda, profit, cash flow, cost of capital, share price dynamics and dividend policy.

Dates, assessment and certificates

Classes will be held from 2pm to 6pm on Wednesdays, for 8 weeks.

Teaching will take place in person with some materials available online. Please note, dates and teaching arrangements may need to change in response to government guidance around Covid-19.

The course is assessed by exam.

If you complete the course but not the exam, you'll receive a certificate of attendance.

If you take and pass the exam you'll get a certificate stating this, which includes your pass level.

Benefits of UCL's Electronics and Electrical Engineering CPD courses

You can take this course as a standalone (one-off) course/module, or accumulate it towards an MSc qualification (up to two standalone modules can be transferred towards the flexible MSc degree).

Benefits for employees
The programme offers the opportunity for professional people working in the telecommunications industry to develop their career, be able to respond to changes in their environment, and learn while they earn. It's also designed to give you the opportunity of working towards an MSc qualification from an academic institution whose quality is recognised world-wide.

Benefits for employers
Our flexible CPD courses enhance staff motivation and assists in the recruitment and retention of high-quality staff. It enables your company to keep ahead of the competition by tapping into world-leading research, and to profit from UCL's world class Telecommunications and Business expertise.

View the full range of related courses available.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • apply a knowledge of the commercial, financial, regulatory issues surrounding modern telecommunications network deployment and operations, to the specific commercial challenges facing a global telecommunications company
  • build a portfolio of telecommunications services to achieve a particular business objective
  • prepare a basic business case for deployment of a typical fixed or mobile telecommunications network
  • identify and understand the regulatory issues surrounding the roll-out of new services and be able to calculate the impact of regulatory constraints on overall business strategy
  • prepare a marketing plan for a hypothetical new telecommunications service based on a comprehensive understanding of the basic principles of marketing as applied to the telecommunications industry
  • prepare a set of basic financial statements (Balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement) for a hypothetical telecommunications company from a given set of raw data
  • calculate and interpret a set of financial ratios for a hypothetical telecommunications company from a given set of raw data
  • calculate the NPV, IRR and break even point for a typical telecommunications infrastructure project from a given set of raw data
  • analyse the capital structure of a typical telecommunications company and understand the implications of different funding models (debt versus equity) for overall business strategy
  • be able to calculate the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) for a given firm from a set of data, and be able to comment on its appropriateness to the firm in question

Course team

Dr Clive Poole

Dr Clive Poole

Clive is Course Director of the Telecommunications with Business MSc in UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. He has over 25 years' experience in the electronics and telecommunications industries and has held senior management posts at AT&T mobility, Jersey Telecom, VTech and SVI, as well as several start-ups. He holds BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Electronic Engineering as well as an MBA. Clive is also a Chartered Engineer and Fellow the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Course information last modified: 16 Nov 2022, 16:10