Research & Development in the Telecommunication Industry in Prewar Japan -Automatic Telephone Switchboard-
AbstractThe telephone system was not sufficiently developed in prewar Japan. This study examines the technological development of automatic telephone switchboard (ATS) to clarify the problems of telephone system in prewar Japan. Ministry of Communication(MOC) introduced automatic telephone system in 1923. From the standpoint of the telephone exchange service, it was a very opportune decision; however, it was technologically premature. Although they had conducted research on the system before WW1, their only choice was the primitive S ~ S system. Further, the dependence on import technology caused different A-type and H-type ATS to coexist. Each local telephone exchange district independently introduced a different type. The MOC had to prepare the specifications and parts for repair for two different systems. These factors hampered the improvement of the telecommunication quality. Standardizing the system by using independent technology became the biggest issue for the MOC in the 1930s. In the 1930s, some joint researches were organized with private enterprises. They tried to develop a gT-typeh or gElectronic Tube-typeh ATS. However, the T-type ATS was merely an improvement over the outdated S ~ S system with respect to the circuit design. On the other hand, Matsumae aimed at a novel technology, an electronic common control system. However, a suitable electronic tube was not invented. As a result, the telecommunication industry was unable to resolve the coexistence problem in the prewar period. However, the engineers of MOC and ATS suppliers recognized their technological backwardness and shared an awareness of the importance of standardization by independent technology. This was the starting point for the research and development system of the telecommunication industry in gPostwar Japan.h
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in its series Discussion Papers in Economics and Business with number 06-23.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Telephone system; Automatic Telephone Switchboard; Ministry of Communication; Research & Development; Joint Research;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N65 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Asia including Middle East
- N75 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Asia including Middle East
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-08-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2006-08-26 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-INO-2006-08-26 (Innovation)
- NEP-SEA-2006-08-26 (South East Asia)
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