leadership in information technology in general, its important contribution to improving productivity in nearly all industries, and its role in national security and homeland defense.
The United States faces strong and growing competitive pressures from nations that are making significant investments in telecommunications R&D.
Nations such as China, Japan, Korea, and member states of the European Union have identified telecommunications as a strategic area for economic development and have launched a variety of initiatives to enhance academic, industry, and joint industry-academic research in accord with vigorously promulgated national visions. Equipment vendors in a number of countries (such as China) now compete strongly with US firms and have been very successful in emerging markets. Some nations' active support for their domestic industries has extended beyond investment in research to include measures for protection of domestic telecommunications industries, thus placing further stress on the US telecommunications industry.
The health of the US telecommunications sector depends on maintaining leadership in innovation.
Telecommunications products and services generally become commoditized over time as multiple firms acquire the know-how to supply similar, competing products, and such competition has benefits in terms of lower prices for goods and services. To maintain leadership — or even a strong position — in telecommunications in the face of pressures from lower costs overseas for labor and other essentials thus requires that US firms constantly focus on achieving high-value innovation as a foundation for developing non-commodity products and services . Research leadership in telecommunications by US academic research institutions and government and industry labs has historically given the nation an advantage in terms of access to new technologies and the highest-caliber engineering talent.
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