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Wireless bound and unbound : The politics shaping cellular markets in Japan and South Korea

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  • Wireless bound and unbound
  • Kushida, Kenji Erik
  • The Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy


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Title Wireless bound and unbound
Similar Titles
Sub Title

The politics shaping cellular markets in Japan and South Korea

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Kushida, Kenji Erik

Publisher

[Berkeley]:The Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy

Date 2008
Series Title; No BRIE Working Paper / 179a
Pages 54
Subject Country Japan(Asia and Pacific)
South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Industry and Technology < IT
Holding BRIE

Abstract

The wireless telecommunications markets of Japan and South Korea both developed rapidly, offering extremely sophisticated and advanced wireless services. Yet, their fortunes in international markets diverged significantly – while Japanese firms retreated to become virtual non-players, Korean firms became top global handset manufacturers. This paper argues that the politics of standard-setting and liberalization, set in motion by differences in the initial conditions of each sector, are critical in explaining this divergence. The Korean government, seeking independence from foreign equipment, sought to actively build domestic technological capacity in choosing a standard that would advantage domestic firms in international markets. In contrast, the Japanese government, independent from foreign technology, was not initially focused on international markets, making it difficult later on to shift the terms of market competition away from exclusive focus on the domestic market.