NRI Papers
No.41   January 1, 2002
  Worldwide Progress in the Convergence of Telecommunications, Information Technology and Broadcasting:The Tasks Facing Japan  
Takeshi SHINOHARA and Yasutake OKANO
        Ubiquitous network technologies such as broadband (high-speed and large-capacity) technology, mobile communications and the Internet, which have been making rapid progress since the latter half of the 1990s, are accelerating the convergence between communications and broadcasting. As this fusion is making it possible to provide services by freely combining information transmission lines and contents, studies are being made to review the existing regulatory framework that has established a distinction between communications and broadcasting up to now.
    In the course of this review, establishing global consistency, creating new services and strengthening competitiveness will constitute the major elements in pursing this reform. Actually, an accelerating trend towards alliances and partnerships among companies that are predicated on competitive policies has been seen on a worldwide basis. From this viewpoint, approaches taken by EU (European Union) member states to formulate a new regulatory framework covering this convergence are of great interest and provide significant reference to Japan.
Contents
I Technological Developments and Convergence Phenomena
1 Definitions of Communications and Broadcasting
2 Driving Force Towards Convergence
3 The Convergence Phenomena
II Convergence and Changes in Industrial Structure
1 Diversification of Contents Delivery Structure
2 Platform Business Expansion
3 Impact of Convergence on Industries
III Regulatory Systems and Features in Major Countries
1 Regulatory System Reforms to Deal with the Progress in Convergence
2 Leadership of the European Union in Convergence
IV Emergence of Global Carriers and Their Governance
1 Development of Vertical Integration by Mega-Carriers
2 Governance of Monopolistic Operations
V Major Issues and Directions of Reform in Japan
1 Regulatory System Reforms Conforming to Convergence Phenomena
2 Focusing on Radio Technology: A Key to Convergence
3 Improving Contents Distribution Systems and Promoting Vertical Integration and Partnerships

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