Space Data Corp.

Case Solution

Alan MacCormack
Harvard Business School ()

Space Data Corp. plans to work with the US National Weather Service to place transceivers on weather balloons, creating a national cellular network. The company is in a late development phase and plans to launch a regional trial to demonstrate its ability to provide paging and messaging. It intends to sell its service to existing wireless carriers such as Skytel and Verizon rather than selling them directly to end users. This case illustrates how Space Data, during its initial market research and technology development, applied flexible business processes to create a system that can make the most of its limited resources and react quickly to changing conditions. As the case concludes, the Space Data leadership team is faced with three options, each with vastly different costs and benefits for the company. You can proceed as planned with a regional paging and messaging test, take a leap forward to develop a more complex but potentially more lucrative voice service (forego a regional test), or transition to the small but financially stable telemetry market. Including color exposures.

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