Telefunken vs. Marconi, or the Race for Wireless Telegraphy at Sea, 1896-1914

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At the end of the nineteenth century electrical communication systems whose development had begun some 50 years before began to unfold their deep impact on the way business and policy were made. The electric telegraph and especially submarine cables had been brought to a high degree of technical efficiency and large amounts of capital had been invested in that business. The telephone was becoming an important means for business communication over short distances. Nevertheless there was, in ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications, a "place" for radio – a gap in the existing communication network large enough to give the new mode a chance to establish itself. The invention of wireless telegraphy – as contemporaries called radio communications – allowed the fast interchange of information between ship on sea and from ship to shore. The following article gives a survey of the beginnings of radio communications and focuses on the competition of two pioneering firms Marconi and Telefunken to dominate the market in naval radio.

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... En ese contexto, y para dar cumplimiento a estas primeras resoluciones, se promulgó el Decreto de 21 de mayo de 1905 7 , que puede considerarse como el nacimiento oficial de las radiocomunicaciones en España 8 y en el que se planteó un desarrollo integral que incluía tanto el despliegue de estaciones (incluyendo de forma especial «las 5 De hecho, en diciembre de 1901 Reinhold Kraetke, Staatssekretär des Reichsposten avisó sobre el peligro de un posible monopolio radiofónico inglés y sus desventajas para la economía alemana. FrIedewald (2012 dilatadas costas de la Península, Baleares y Canarias») como un reglamento de operación, algo realmente avanzado para ese momento en que no existía prácticamente normativa internacional de referencia. Sin embargo, la inestabilidad política del Gobierno Moret hizo que no se desarrollase este decreto, lo que dio lugar a un artículo crítico en la revista Electrón 9 , órgano oficioso del cuerpo de telégrafo s que, de cara a la conferencia internacional de 1906, lamentaba que: ...
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