Technology Analysis & Strategic Management from 3G to 4G : Standards and the Development of Mobile Broadband in China
Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 23:7, 773-788 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09537325.2011.592284
Posted: 17 Nov 2012 Last revised: 17 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2012
This paper explores the way that increasing engagement in international standardisation processes has enabled Chinese ﬁrms to become global players in mobile telecommunications technologies and China to become a major inﬂuence in the international information and communications technology (ICT) standards arena. From a ‘social shaping of technology’ perspective it examines the development of the third generation (3G) TD-SCDMA (time division synchronous code division multiple access) mobile telephony standard (TD) and the path laid towards the next generation of mobile broadband standards and technologies. The paper highlights the complex interactions between a wide array of players involved, including national and foreign ﬁrms, and different sections and levels of the Chinese state. TD’s success was by no means predetermined. China eventually adopted a pragmatic approach implementing TD and the two established Western standards. This complex history and interplay between Chinese and foreign players calls into question the idea of national or indigenous technologies for large-scale infrastructures, and highlights the limitations of national strategies in globalised innovation processes.
Keywords: 3G, 4G,TDCDMA, China, mobile, policy, standards, technology
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