Discussion Papers

Rolf Schwab

Die deutsche Telekommunikationsgeräteindustrie im internationalen Wettbewerb
Nr. 160 / Juni 1996

Summary

Triggered by liberalization and privatization telecommunications markets have been subject to substantial structural change in the past couple of years. This development has been fuelled by the ongoing technical progress.

For the telecommunications equipment industry this implies changes in the competitive arena and the market structure. Production processes have changed, product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter and production turns increasingly capital intensive. At the same time the customers have become more price-conscious. In connection with the increasing globalisation these developments have led to a concentration process in the market for tc-equipment. The primary goals of the merging or cooperating companies are the sharing of high R&D expenditures and the acquisition of new markets.

In the 1980's the competitive position of the German tc-equipment industry has declined. In this period Germany had to accept considerable losses in its share of the global market, which were mainly lost to the U.S., Canada, Japan and the "little tigers".

Since 1991, however, the competitiveness of the german tc-equipment industry has improved and nowadays can be judged favourably. This is mainly due to the strong position in the segments of transmission and switching technologies, which dispose of distinct comparative advantage vis-à-vis the other market segments.

On the other hand regional aspects matter. The national producers have succeeded in positioning themselves in the east-european markets. Germany's share of exports into these countries clearly exceeds its share in the global market. This also applies to the east-asian countries. Especially from these countries important impulses for the de-mand can be expected in the future. However, regional weaknesses can be observed as well. Especially in China and the home markets of its main competitors German pro-ducts are underrepresented.

Only German language version available.

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