by Andrei Hagiu, Fellow, RIETI

Digital Convergence Forum

About the Forum

High-technology industries, ranging from computers to wireless communications and consumer electronics, are currently being transformed by a process known as "digital convergence," that is, the trend toward growing interoperability among various products and technologies, and their enhanced ability to exchange information with each other. This convergence has been triggered by the rise of networking and connectivity through the Internet and wireless networks, and through continued technological progress, which has brought computer-like capabilities to a dazzling array of devices from mobile phones, to videogame consoles, to personal digital assistants, to portable content devices. The most important consequence of digital convergence is that product value in high-technology industries is shifting away from integrated and stand-alone performance toward the ability to support a variety of digital content such as software applications, music, movies, games, and the ability to share that content with many other devices.

This page is dedicated to discussing the fascinating economic, strategic and industrial policy issues raised by this ongoing evolution. What are the implications of digital convergence? What will be its impact on competition and who will compete against whom? Who are the industrial players most likely to succeed? Where does competitive advantage lie in a converged digital world?

The brief columns and papers posted on this page are intended to serve as seeds for a discussion that I hope will extend far beyond the scope of the writings themselves. The idea is to draw as many diverse comments and insights as possible, which will help provide a clearer understanding of digital convergence.

HAGIU, AndreiFellow (until September 30, 2005)