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Competing through cooperation: Standard setting in wireless telecommunications

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  • Leiponen, Aija

Abstract

This study examines cooperative standard-setting in wireless telecommunications. Focusing on the competition among firms to influence formal standardization, the roles of standard-setting committees, private alliances, and technical consortia are highlighted. The empirical context is Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an international standards development organization. Panel data analyses suggest that participation in external technical consortia significantly enhance firms contributions to the development of new specifications in 3GPP committees. Then, once a firm has become a central player in technical committees, it can further influence the standard-setting outcome through change requests to ongoing specifications. External alliances with fellow 3GPP members may also improve change request success. These results suggest that if firms in network technological industries want to influence the evolution of their industry, they should identify both formal standard-setting committees and external cooperative arrangements in which they can discuss, negotiate, and align positions on technical features with their peers. For policymakers, these results suggest that it is important to ensure that technical consortia remain open for all industry actors and that membership fees do not become prohibitive to small and resource-constraint players.

Suggested Citation

  • Leiponen, Aija, 2006. "Competing through cooperation: Standard setting in wireless telecommunications," Discussion Papers 1056, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1056
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    File URL: http://www.etla.fi/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/dp1056.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 70-83, Spring.
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    4. Marc Rysman & Tim Simcoe, 2006. "Patents and Performance of Voluntary Standard Setting Organizations," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-031, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. Bekkers, Rudi & Duysters, Geert & Verspagen, Bart, 2002. "Intellectual property rights, strategic technology agreements and market structure: The case of GSM," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1141-1161, September.
    6. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2006. "A Model of Forum Shopping," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
    7. Funk, Jeffrey L. & Methe, David T., 2001. "Market- and committee-based mechanisms in the creation and diffusion of global industry standards: the case of mobile communication," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 589-610, April.
    8. Lucio Fuentelsaz & Jaime GÛmez, "undated". "Multipoint Competition, Mutual Forbearance and Entry into Geographic Markets," Studies on the Spanish Economy 127, FEDEA.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Standard setting; technology strategy; inter-firm networks;

    JEL classification:

    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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