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Abstract

This paper engages in a study of the conditions for convergence between information infrastructures. Inspired by the visions of convergence as one of the essential building blocks to achieve the goals of the Information Society and eEurope as well as the observation that no model has been proposed to address how and why convergence develops, we aim at providing a theoretical framework for studying such phenomena. To analyze the interrelatedness of the parallel evolution of information infrastructures, we introduce a concept of co-evolution and apply it to a study of the ongoing development of the two wireless communication platforms Universal Mobile Telephone System (UMTS) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) in Norway. We emphasize the importance of an adequate understanding of the infrastructures involved, including the installed bases and their intra- and inter-linkages, to anticipate possible trajectories of co-evolution. Focusing on the network dimension of the communication platforms, we show how the various technologies, politics, interests and user preferences linked to the installed bases of each of the platforms may strongly influence the direction and speed of their co-evolution.

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