The 10 worst telecom business moves of the past 10 years

Sometimes, you can’t make an iPhone without making a Newton first.

Telecom companies almost always focus on the positives, be it increasing sales, growing market share, new products or rising share prices. Of course, that’s not at all surprising: big companies often devote entire divisions to telling positive stories in an effort to put a shine on a particular brand, service or product.

And here at Fierce, we too try to highlight the successful parts of the industry, whether that’s top startups in the space, ISPs to watch or up-and-coming executives.

But you have to consider the bad as well as the good. After all, no executive or company is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, both big and small. Sometimes, you can’t make an iPhone without making a Newton first. And those who don’t learn from their mistakes are bound to repeat them. Plus, it’s fun.

So here are the 10 worst telecom business moves of the past 10 years. From failed acquisitions to failed products to failed services, these are the most boneheaded moves those in the industry have made over the course of the past decade.

To be clear, this list was assembled by the Fierce editorial team and covers all of telecom, from wireless to wireline to cable. It focuses mainly on the market’s bigger players (think Comcast) but also has some smaller ones too (think LightSquared). And no, it doesn’t include Sprint’s acquisition of Nextel, or the AOL merger with Time Warner, because those transactions closed more than 10 years ago.

We hope you enjoy this stroll back through the relatively recent history of telecom. Let us know if we missed anything! — Mike | @mikeddano

The 10 worst telecom business moves of the past 10 years