In mobile telecommunications, numerous formal and quasi-formal standard setting organiza- tions (SSOs) exist that are dedicated to technology standardization. Yet, hundreds of more or less informal industry consortia have been established that also deal with technical standards. Some of these aim to develop standards themselves – and thus compete with existing, formal standard setting organizations – while others complement existing organizations or relate to them in other ways. Based on a novel dataset covering 100 consortia in the field of mobile telecommunications as well as interviews, we aim to explore and understand the role and diversity of standards-related consortia. We investigate their purpose, functioning, their members’ motives, the position they occupy in the standardization landscape, and the way they interact with formal standard setting. On the basis of our analysis, we propose a taxonomy of standards-related consortia consisting of six groups: large industry and technology influencers, high-level concept developers, established standards developers, young technology specialists, small industry and technology influencers, and SSO-hosted industry drivers. We believe the resulting taxonomy to be relevant for researchers, practitioners and policymakers alike. It sheds light on the intricate landscape of industry consortia, and offers transparency on the peculiarities of these organizations. Hence, it can build the basis for an evaluation of potential memberships as well as policies and regulations.
- Mobile telecommunications
- Strategic alliances