Case | HBS Case Collection | November 1992 (Revised May 1993)

American Mobile Satellite Corporation

by Frank V. Cespedes and Laura Goode

Abstract

American Mobile Satellite Corp. (AMSC) has a license to provide wireless mobile communications via satellite throughout the United States and 200 miles of coastal waters. The first satellite launch is scheduled for 1994 and, in the interim, AMSC is providing limited services via another company's satellites. In mid-1992, AMSC's president is making decisions concerning AMSC's marketing program, including the nature of distribution channels for AMSC services and whether to add high-speed data capabilities to AMSC's product line. A key tension in this case involves the need to maximize capacity utilization of AMSC's satellite (via multiple services and distribution channels) versus the need to focus limited engineering and other product-development resources in a young, resource-constrained company. Illustrates the interdependent nature of product policy, channel, and sales-strategy decisions, while also illustrating typical differences between marketing/sales and product development/engineering in an emerging, technology-sensitive marketplace.

Keywords: Wireless Technology; Decisions; Distribution Channels; Marketing Strategy; Product Development; Sales; Emerging Markets; Resource Allocation; Performance Capacity; Communications Industry; Information Technology Industry; United States;

Citation:

Cespedes, Frank V., and Laura Goode. "American Mobile Satellite Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 593-038, November 1992. (Revised May 1993.)