Discussion Papers

Ulrich Schmoch, Thomas Schnöring

Wie steht es um die Wettbewerbsposition der Telekommunikationsgeräteindustrie in Europa? Patente und Weltmarktanteil

Nr. 104 / Januar 1993


In the eighties, the structures of the telecom markets started to change dramatically. Liberalisation, privatisation and the increasing international competition have been major driving forces. The telecommunications equipment industry has become a science-based industry. It's the R&D intensity is one of the highest of all industries. The level and the efficiency of national R&D-activities became an important factor for the international competitiveness of countries in the telecommunications equipment industry. The discussion paper analyses the development of the technological competiveness of major European countries in comparison with the USA and Japan on the basis of patent applications at the European Patent Office. It becomes obvious that the dynamic of innovation activities in Europe lags behind the USA and Japan, particularly towards the end of the eightees. The European countries are threatend to lose technological competitiveness in their domestic market. A parallel analysis of the world market shares shows that the European countries have already lost considerable market shares in the world market for telecommunications equipment during the eightees. In the case of Germany, the losses of market shares were particularly high. The USA as well as some countries from the Far East and Japan have increased their share of world exports. Correlation analyses show a relatively strong positive correlation between the development of countries, technological competitiveness and their competitiveness in the equipment market. The results of our analysis are in contradiction to the common attitude of the European equipment industry and the European policy makers which says that the European telecommunications equipment industry is quite competitive in the Triade. Only German language version available.

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