Telecommunications and Information Technology Standard-Setting in Japan

A Preliminary Survey

by Stanley Besen

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This Note describes and analyzes telecommunications and information technology standard-setting in Japan, with particular emphasis on the roles of the Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC), the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. It also compares the organization and structure of TTC with those of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and the T1 Committee of the Exchange Carriers Standards Association in the United States, and examines the prospects for cooperation among them. The author concludes that the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Company (NTT) is likely to dominate Japanese telecommunications standard-setting in the near future because of its greater resources and incentives to participate in the standardization process. However, as NTT's rivals grow, they will play a larger role, and standard setting will become more contentious. The author also concludes that cooperation among telecommunications standards organizations in Japan, Western Europe, and the United States will be limited by the fact that the choice of a particular standard can convey a competitive advantage.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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