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Trends in ICT standards: The relationship between European standardisation bodies and standards consortia


  • Blind, Knut
  • Gauch, Stephan


Theoretical analyses have dealt with the relationship between standardisation activities in formal standardisation bodies and in standards consortia. However, the empirical evidence is rather weak. Besides various case studies, there is no broad and quantitative approach for examining the relationship between formal and informal standardisation processes. This paper quantifies the standardisation activities in information and communication technology (ICT) of formal and informal standardisation bodies by utilising the database PERINORM containing formal standards and by analysing two CEN/ISSS surveys of standardisation consortia in 2000 and 2004. The two major insights gained are that the technical content of activities of formal and informal standardisation bodies is complementary rather than substitutive, which means most technical issues are addressed by both formal standardisation bodies and standardisation consortia. In addition, there has been a consolidation of consortia activities through a significant reduction in the number of consortia. However, this reduction has not changed the distribution of consortia activities by technical fields and complementary relations with the activities of formal standardisation bodies. Based on these new insights, some challenges emerge both for future theoretical analysis of decisions on standardisation types and for ICT policy regarding the interaction between standardisation and technical regulation and the role of standards in public procurement.

Suggested Citation

  • Blind, Knut & Gauch, Stephan, 2008. "Trends in ICT standards: The relationship between European standardisation bodies and standards consortia," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 503-513, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:32:y:2008:i:7:p:503-513

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    Cited by:

    1. Gauch, Stephan & Blind, Knut, 2015. "Technological convergence and the absorptive capacity of standardisation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 236-249.
    2. Chryssoula Pentheroudakis & Justus A. Baron, 2016. "Licensing Terms of Standard Essential Patents: A Comprehensive Analysis of Cases," JRC Working Papers JRC104068, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    3. Tim POHLMANN, 2014. "The Evolution of ICT Standards Consortia," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(95), pages 17-40, 3rd quart.
    4. Lee, Won Sang & Han, Eun Jin & Sohn, So Young, 2015. "Predicting the pattern of technology convergence using big-data technology on large-scale triadic patents," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 317-329.
    5. Raven, Michael & Blind, Knut, 2017. "The characteristics and impacts of scientific publications in biotechnology research referenced in standards," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 167-179.
    6. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:8:p:1370-1386 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yann Ménière, 2015. "Fair, Reasonable and Non-discriminatory (FRAND) Licensing Terms. Research Analysis of a Controversial Concept," Post-Print hal-01261021, HAL.


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