Telecommunications: Primacy of Power and Regulatory Battles for Promoting National Standards - Part 12

and Germany telecom giant Siemens. It was proposed to ITU in 1998 and was approved by ITU as one of the three candidate standards for 3G mobile communications in May 2000. The other two international standards are the WCDMA proposed by the EU and the CDMA 2000 favored by the United States. The TD standard was further accepted by 3GPP in March 2001. Technically, TD-SCDMA implements a hybrid of time-division (the TD part) and frequency-division (the CDMA part) multiple access in an effort to achieve the benefits of dynamically allocated time slots for downlink and uplink in order to support varying traffic asymmetry. TD-SCDMA enables Internet connection speeds of up to 2 Mbit/s, or 35 times faster than ordinary 56k modem and telephone line links. It also allows more efficient use of existing infrastructure. It makes use of TDD synchronous CDMA technology and offers several operational advantages over alternatives including flexible spectrum allocation, low cost implementation, and easier migration from GSM systems (Chen et al. 2002; Carey, 2008).

Government support

Telecommunication has always been and will continue to be a strategic sector that is of great importance to national security and the economy, particularly in today's “network economy.” It has become the scene for one of the “battles for dominance” between MNCs and various national governments. Europe and the United States took divergent approaches to managing their 2G national standards. Unlike the market-driven standard setting in the United States, the EU has relied on mandated standards set by the European telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The government-dominated European approach has had direct and positive impacts on prices, penetration rates, market expansion, deployment, and coverage of GSM standard. To a great extent it has led to the domination of GSM standard in the global telecom market vis-à-vis the CDMA standard which failed to expand in overseas markets and does not even dominate in the U.S. market. Nokia emerged as a global telecom giant along with GSM became the dominant 2G standard.

Beijing is motivated to replicate this successful model by promoting its own home-grown standard TD-SCDMA. The Chinese leadership has made no secret of its belief in the importance of the telecommunications sector to China's economic aspirations. In September 2005, Chinese president Hu Jingtao made it explicit that “our home-grown standard is critical for the future development of China's mobile telecommunication” (Wang & Liu, 2006).

Add comment

Security code

Copyright © 2019 | "The Theory of the Business"