Mobile telecommunications is a global and complex industry containing many actors. However, relatively little research has been undertaken into explaining its structure. With this in mind, the objective of this paper is twofold: first, to map the structure of the mobile telecommunications industry and, second, to use this mapping exercise to highlight the data collection issues that are frequently encountered. Through outlining one particular approach to data collection, the paper argues that researchers need to be careful when constructing datasets and wary when relying on those provided by others. By mapping the structure of the mobile industry, the paper highlights a series of key issues in data collection and trends in operator and market structure.