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Title: Universality and network evolution : the cases of Korea Information Infrastructure and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) development
Author: Kang, Min-Jeong
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis focuses on the case of the Korean telecommunications industry, by examining the changes in the market and in technology development systems in general, and, in particular, the cases of the Korean Information Infrastructure (KII) programme and a digital mobile communications system development, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). KII and CDMA are being developed against the back cloth of the restructuring of the telecommunications industry. The changes and challenges of network evolution in the 1990s demonstrate how the restructuring is being conducted under open market pressure and internal demands from the private sector. The challenges are emerging in an institutional rationale of protectionism both in telecommunications policy and in the national R&D system. This thesis combines the 'social shaping of technology' tradition in technology studies and the political economy of telecommunications, with empirical evidence from a newly industrialising country, recognising telecommunications as a complex of technology and social institutions. The main research question is how political and economic interests are embedded in the process of introducing and developing new services in network evolution. The cases of KII and CDMA exemplify the changes in, and challenges of, telecommunications, reflecting a particular set of social relations in Korea. KII, a national initiative of network design, entails the dilemma between Social Overhead Capital and highly profitable industry in the nature of telecommunications. The design process, although it did not take much time to implement, already embodies interests of industrial capital and Korea Telecom in realigning technological tasks and policy direction. The CDMA case shows more explicitly how the national R&D system is being fragmented, reflecting the power of industrial capital under heavy market pressure.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available