Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Diffussion of ICT-products and "five Russias"

Baburin, Vyacheslav and Zemtsov, Stepan (2014): Diffussion of ICT-products and "five Russias". Published in: Uddevalla Symposium 2014: Geography of Growth, The Frequency, Nature and Consequences of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Regions of Varying Density (1 October 2014): pp. 97-125.

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The authors explored the potential of new information and communications technologies (ICT) absorption in Russian regions primarily on an example of mobile communication. ICT-sector is rapidly growing, especially in consumer market, and it is an ideal object for diffusion research because it is fast spreading, and it can be obtained by almost all parts of a social system. The purpose was to classify regions by the rate of innovativeness. The saturation rate for mobile phone usage (active SIM cards per 100 people) was used as a proper indicator on the first stage of the research. All regions were classified according to rates of diffusion from 1999 to 2011, and five clusters were identified, corresponding to diffusion stages, identified by E. Rogers: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. There were four stages of spatial diffusion, according to the theory of T. Hagerstrand. Each stage were determined by several factors. The most influential factors were income, price of services and competition. Mobile phone usage in most Russian regions reached 100% saturation (one active SIM card per capita) in 2006-2007. Later development was determined not by demand for phone connection, but by the demand for internet connection, which was easily provided by mobile systems in smartphones, tablets, and other devices. To assess the innovativeness of regional communities, or their ability to absorb new products, cluster analysis, based on the threshold values of Bass model parameters, was performed. The results were similar to those obtained earlier, but the early appearance of innovators in several regions did not increase the total number of users. Both previous methods of classification could be biased regarding special features of mobile communication diffusion. That is why, on the last stage an integral index of innovativeness was introduced, including rate of diffusion for several ICT-products on the early period of their introduction. The analysis proved that hierarchical model of diffusion from the main centres to secondary prevailed in Russia. Factor of geographical location also played an important role. The research showed the significant difference in the rate of diffusion between Russian regions. Five stable clusters were identified, which were corresponding with idea of “five Russias” existence. Moscow and Saint Petersburg’s rate of diffusion was higher than in most countries, but there was a widespread periphery.

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