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Diffusion of mobile telephony: An empirical study in Taiwan


  • Chu, Wen-Lin
  • Wu, Feng-Shang
  • Kao, Kai-Sheng
  • Yen, David C.


Mobile telephony penetration is a major indicator of mobile telephony diffusion. Taiwan had a mobile telephony penetration of 108% in 2002, ranking first in the world. This study analyzes this accelerated diffusion in terms of growth model and determinants of the diffusion rate. To eliminate the inherent uncertainty associated with choosing the optimal growth model, this study compares the performance of three conventional models, namely Gompertz, Logistic and Bass, to identify the most appropriate model, and to distinguish the forces driving the diffusion rate. Empirical results indicate that the most appropriate model is the Logistic model. Network externalities, which this study shows to be the same as the imitation effect in the Bass model, explain the superiority of the Logistic model. Moreover, market competition, which markedly reduces service prices, is identified as a primary driver of the diffusion rate of mobile telephony in Taiwan. Economic conditions, technological innovation and number of operators are insignificant factors. Finally, mobile telephony is a substitute for fixed-line telephony in Taiwan.

Suggested Citation

  • Chu, Wen-Lin & Wu, Feng-Shang & Kao, Kai-Sheng & Yen, David C., 2009. "Diffusion of mobile telephony: An empirical study in Taiwan," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 506-520, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:33:y:2009:i:9:p:506-520

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dewenter, Ralf & Kruse, Jörn, 2011. "Calling party pays or receiving party pays? The diffusion of mobile telephony with endogenous regulation," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 107-117, March.
    2. Baburin, Vyacheslav & Zemtsov, Stepan, 2014. "Diffussion of ICT-products and "five Russias"," MPRA Paper 68926, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 May 2014.
    3. Riikonen, Antti & Smura, Timo & Kivi, Antero & Töyli, Juuso, 2013. "Diffusion of mobile handset features: Analysis of turning points and stages," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 563-572.
    4. repec:eee:appene:v:197:y:2017:i:c:p:29-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ünver, Mehmet Bilal & Göktaylar, Yavuz & Tezel, Fatih, 2015. "Regulatory Implications of FMS for Voice Services in Turkey: Analysis of Recent Regulatory Acts on Deregulation and Margin Squeeze," 26th European Regional ITS Conference, Madrid 2015 127186, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    6. Yamakawa, Peter & Rees, Gareth H. & Manuel Salas, José & Alva, Nikolai, 2013. "The diffusion of mobile telephones: An empirical analysis for Peru," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 594-606.
    7. Lin, Chiun-Sin, 2013. "Forecasting and analyzing the competitive diffusion of mobile cellular broadband and fixed broadband in Taiwan with limited historical data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 207-213.
    8. Nguimkeu, Pierre, 2014. "A simple selection test between the Gompertz and Logistic growth models," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 98-105.
    9. Oğuz, Fuat & Akkemik, K. Ali & Göksal, Koray, 2015. "Toward a wider market definition in broadband: The case of Turkey," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 111-119.
    10. Zaber, Moinul & Sirbu, Marvin, 2012. "Impact of spectrum management policy on the penetration of 3G technology," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 762-782.
    11. repec:wsi:apjorx:v:34:y:2017:i:01:n:s0217595917400061 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Tseng, Fang-Mei & Wang, Shenq-Yuan & Hsieh, Chih-Hung & Guo, Aifang, 2014. "An integrated model for analyzing the development of the 4G telecommunications market in Taiwan," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 14-31.
    13. Meade, Nigel & Islam, Towhidul, 2015. "Forecasting in telecommunications and ICT—A review," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1105-1126.


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