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IT and telecoms convergence: mobile service delivery in the EU and Japan

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We will show in this paper how the process of delivering mobile content to handsets has changed from proprietary delivery mechanisms towards components making up delivery platforms. This trend is reinforced by content formats migrating from mobile-specific into mainstream Internet formats as handsets get more advanced. Service delivery platforms function as an indicator of the uptake of data services and is the glue between end-users and the originating content. Service delivery platforms also drive a convergence between IT and telecoms companies. This means lower transaction costs for major brands to expand into mobile content distribution. In this paper we compare business strategies and technology choices from Japan and the EU in the period 2000 to 2005 among the following actors: carriers, mobile content providers, service delivery platform providers, and retail brands. Although different business strategies have been pursued in Japan and the EU we show that underlying key delivery technology is similar, and the patterns of IT and telecoms convergence are clear. This analysis also demystifies the content delivery process in Japan. We use both concepts of network effects and systems evolution to explore how content provision has changed in the market to accommodate evolving service delivery platforms, containing disruptive technologies, and the associated business models, that are affected by coordination costs. This research is built on extensive industry contacts in Japan during two periods, 1999-2001 and 2002-2005.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27151/

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