This article presents the results of an explorative study for the lifetimes and survival rates of formal standards in telecommunication and information technology. The analysis reveals that the survival rate depends on the dynamic development of technologies and on country-specific characteristics. In a second step, we tried to identify factors influencing the lifetimes of standards. In general, standards replacing an already existing document have an expected survival time compared to documents without a predecessor. Standards with a successor document have, as anticipated, a shorter expected lifetime. Finally, the increased speed of technological change reduces the lifetimes of standards. Based on these first insights, we derive the following recommendations. First, standardisation bodies should adapt their standard maintenance according to the specific requirements of technologies and the related markets, but should also harmonise their processes at the international level in order to avoid frictions for the development of technologies and markets.