Telecommunications: Some Policy Issues; Proceedings of a Task Force Meeting, March 28-30, 1982, Budapest, Hungary

Vasko, T. (1982). Telecommunications: Some Policy Issues; Proceedings of a Task Force Meeting, March 28-30, 1982, Budapest, Hungary. IIASA Collaborative Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: CP-82-063

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In line with the selected methodology, the Innovation Management Task at IIASA is concentrating on sectors in an attempt to analyze the situation at this level of the economy before making any aggregations or conclusions relevant to management. In order to properly cover industry, it was suggested that branches that are at differing stages or that display different kinds of development be chosen for the study. Telecommunications was recommended as a branch with high growth.

This was the first in a series of task force meetings initiated to promote an exchange of views among researchers and to coordinate the activities of individual collaborating institutions.

A wide selection of issues for discussion are reviewed in the first paper (Vasko), which was circulated to participants in advance. It deals with macroeconomic aspects as well as with sectoral policy issues relevant to innovation.

Prof. Braun's paper deals with basic questions of information related to macroeconomic variables. It particularly points out the volatility of value concepts as related to information and some of its consequences.

The papers that follow deal with the organizational and economic environment of telecommunications. This environment, which was stable for decades, has been disturbed recently by new technology, which has brought with it new economies of scale, new demands, new organizational structures, new time horizons, etc. The paper by Dr. Mueller explores how this has changed the potential for competition in telecommunications.

When asking for resources at a national level, proponents of telecommunications often have to show that the sector can provide social returns comparable to or even higher than those offered by other branches competing for the same resources. Here it is not easy to make a convincing case ex ante, which becomes a difficulty especially when we have new services in mind. Similar difficulties are experienced by individual services within the telecommunications branch or even by individual users, as is shown in the paper by Dr. Puzman. No generally accepted methodology is in sight-case studies and their conclusions seem to be the only substitute.

A similar problem is described and suggested for further research by John Page. He concentrates on the interaction of telecommunications and computer-based information technology. Many managerial and policy issues are generated by this interaction and by organizational and operational dissimilarities of these two branches.

The last four papers deal with the relation of telecommunications development to other branches and activities. Dr. Seetzen points out how different technological innovations can be "complementary" to each other in delivering a system capable of new services and/or in offering a new value to the user.

Some potential applications (in information transfer) of these innovations are explored in the second paper by Mr. Page. He shows also how present tariff policies can hamper the acceptance of new services (for example electronic document delivery).

The relations of telecommunications to the printing industry and its potential future development are explored in the paper by Prof. Karttunen. He shows how the progress of information technology in general and telecommunications in particular can influence the graphic arts industry and its progress, giving particular attention to the scene in Finland.

An interesting attempt is made in the paper by Dr. Granstrand. He compares the innovation environment in two production branches in Sweden in which two innovated products have emerged recently -- the automobile and telecommunication equipment branches. This comparison serves as a vehicle for identifying similarities and differences in the process of innovation mangement with emphasis on capital formation.

The last paper in the proceedings describes the result of research in videotex systems carried out at IIASA by Drs. Maurer and Sebestyen. The paper presents a technical and economic analysis of the present state of the art and the potential future development of videotex systems with special attention to a comparison of one-way and two-way videotex systems. The authors also try to identify the role of technical innovation of individual components in the system's development with due attention to human and societal factors.

The paper presented by Mr. Nemeth on the use of viewdata systems for inventory control is not included in the proceedings but will be published as a collaborative paper by the institute at a later date.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Collaborative Paper)
Research Programs: Management and Technology Area (MMT)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:52
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:11

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