Testing theory of bandwagons - Global standardization competition in mobile communications

Zixiang Alex Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Standardization development and the global standards adoption are in the center of competition for the global mobile communication industry. This study conducts an historical analysis of three generations of standardization in mobile communications in the world. It aims to examine how the corporation strategy, institutional collaboration, and government policy have influenced the outcome of standardization. It focuses on how competing standards are adopted and deployed in national and global markets. Empirical data has been presented to test the theory of bandwagons in standard adoption by using ratios of total global users to total domestic/home users. Findings lead to the conclusion that standards with well-established domestic bases often start their global bandwagons with a bandwagon ratio between 1.2 and 2.3 and the global competition is centered between the politically sponsored European bandwagon and the market-sponsored US bandwagons. It concludes that politically sponsored bandwagon often leads to a quick establishment while the market-sponsored bandwagons tend to accommodate market and technology dynamics, at least for the wireless industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-619
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Information Technology and Decision Making
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Wireless standardization
  • bandwagon theory
  • standard competition
  • wireless communications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)


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