We argue that coopetition and standardization are important dimensions in the analysis of general-purpose technologies (GPT). We synthesize ideas from GPT, standardization, and coopetition literatures and introduce a framework for empirical analysis of GPTs that are enabled by standards development and related coopetition. We apply this framework and analyze the role of coopetition in standardization of wireless cellular technology, which has been recently discussed as a GPT. We document that coopetition and standardization have been associated with increasing improvement, innovation spawning, and pervasiveness—the characteristics of GPTs—in the context of wireless cellular technology. The perspective of standardization and coopetition could shed further light on the technological progress and evolution related to emerging GPT candidates, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.
- Cellular technology
- General purpose technology