Monday, October 26, 2009

Transformations...US in the center of it?

This week in Cowhey and Aronson's book, "Transforming Global Information and Communication Markets: The political economy of innovation", they discuss the transformations to come at the global level, especially in the telecommunications (telecom) industry. They mention that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have not only accelerated information economies in prosperous countries like the United States, Japan, and Europe, but for developing countries as well, such as, India and China. This reminded me of a case I studied in another class, it was called E-Choupal and it described the way an innovative system for selling farmers’ products was implemented in a specific community, and how it helped all the people involved in the project. E-Choupal is an example of the growth effects ICTs have on developing countries.

The authors also make it very clear that they think the US is a great influence on the global policy agenda and they discuss the arguments against this, such as: China is now becoming the leader and that the US’s declination is due to its spending in major ICT market segment.Cowhey and Aronson, dispute these arguments by saying that the US has a large lead in its deployed ICT stock; US has the largest investment base and flows in the critical areas for innovation; US will remain the leader for the foreseeable future in software, networked digital applications, high-value-added commercial content, and high end IT computing systems and solutions; US will continue to be among the top three global markets across the full range of ICT markets; and US is the leading producer of high value-added content. For these reasons the authors think the US will remain in the center of the inflection point at least through 2020.

The authors mention various times how the United States is a pivotal part of at the global level in communications policies, because of the influence they have right now and that they will posses in the near future. Implementing innovative ideas that revolve around Information and Communications Technologies into developing countries can help them prosper and grow their information economy. ICTs come with many changes and that is what these countries need, a change towards the future.

1 comment:

  1. Although I do agree with some of Cowhey and Aronson's arguments about current US dominance in telecommunications, I think over time it will grow to have a more pluralized power base. That is to say that while the US may remain a leader in ICT's and other telecommunications aspects, the rise of other countries/regions, such as China, India, Japan, the EU will mean that the US would become one of the leaders of the telecommunications industry, not THE leader. As I haven't studied this much it could easily follow the time line Cowhey and Aronson have laid out here, where the US remains dominant until about 2025, or it could happen sooner or later. I think the biggest point is however, that in the face of these global political and economic changes it seems unlikely that the US will continue to be THE world leader in telecommunications (and other aspects) for more than several decades.