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

See all articles by James K Stewart

James K Stewart

Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation, University of Edinburgh; European Union - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)

Xiaobai Shen

University of Edinburgh - Business School

Chengwei Wang

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ian Graham

Independent

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Stewart, James K. and Shen, Xiaobai and Wang, Chengwei and Graham, Ian, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management from 3G to 4G : Standards and the Development of Mobile Broadband in China (2012). Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 23:7, 773-788 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09537325.2011.592284. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176695

James K. Stewart (Contact Author)

Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation, University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old Surgeons Hall
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1LZ
United Kingdom

European Union - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) ( email )

Edificio Expo, C
Inca Garcilaso, s/n
Sevilla, E-41092
Spain

Xiaobai Shen

University of Edinburgh - Business School ( email )

University of Edinburgh
29 Buccleuch Place
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JS
UNITED KINGDOM

Chengwei Wang

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Ian Graham

Independent

No Address Available

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