CEO, IDATE DigiWorld
2016 turned out to be a relatively mediocre year for the telecom services market in Western countries: an overall trend of stabilisation in Europe’s biggest markets, after suffering a steady decline in revenue since 2008, and an overall decrease in mobile revenue in the United States, breaking with the steady growth that AT&T and Verizon had managed to maintain up until 2015. As a result, operators in Europe are naturally sensitive to any strategic moves from the two American heavyweights, especially with respect to the content industry: what are AT&T and Verizon’s hoping for when investing in content?
• Avoid being bypassed by streaming video by moving higher up the value chain, right up to production. Because video has become the prime source of traffic on both fixed and mobile networks, operators can no longer content themselves with merely distributing other companies’ channels and programmes, especially if those companies decide to take the self-distribution route and comply with net neutrality rules. This strategy is akin to classic vertical integration.
• Behind this ultimately defensive strategy, there may also be a more aggressive aim at work: play the OTT card for all it’s worth by freeing themselves from their footprint (and the Capex required to continually expand the number of homes passed) and going after customers on every fixed/mobile Internet access network, i.e. not only customers that rely on their own pipes. Therein lies real diversification since physical connectivity becomes secondary.
• Beyond this, we have to keep AT&T and Verizon’s current situation in mind. Both are having to contend with a brutal decrease in growth which had been sustained almost singlehandedly by their mobile business for the past 10 years, while also playing second fiddle to cable in the residential fixed access market. With very few attractive prospects abroad – and up until now (under the Obama administration), antitrust bodies blocking M&A deals that would have allowed them to grow their share of the mobile market at home – while still very powerful, both operators have very good reasons for setting their sights on content as a way to maintain revenue and shareholder dividends. But here is where their paths diverge.
• Being deliberately simplistic, one Verizon executive recently explained that AT&T wanted to gain a share of today’s TV market, whereas Verizon was going after the future video market that will be fuelled by millennials… in other words, rather than acquiring very expensive assets that are likely to be rendered obsolete by new video habits, Verizon is opting to slowly build up its expertise in the data economy that will underpin video (notably growing programmatic advertising revenue). What is certain is that the amount that AT&T will spend to acquire DirecTV and (provided they get the nod from the Trump administration) Time Warner is infinitely larger than what Verizon laid out for AOL, the Huffington Post, OnCue, several other start-ups (including Vessel) and probably Yahoo! But it is still too early to say which path is the riskiest.
How does this tie in with net neutrality debates?
• The future Trump administration has done nothing to hide its radical opposition to net neutrality, up to and including reclassifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. In theory, this is great new for telcos who remain hostile to the regulation put into place by the Obama administration: at the very least they can take it as given that, under the new administration, they will be able to maintain their zero rating policies on content, especially content delivered over wireless networks, such as those included in T-Mobile’s Binge On plan, Verizon’s Go90 and AT&T’s DirecTV Now products.
On these last two points, what could a repeal or relaxation of current net neutrality rules mean?
• We can posit that, if net neutrality is done away with altogether, operators are back in the driver’s seat when it comes to being bypassed by streaming services sold by channels and SVOD providers. Will this go so far as to quash any desire to invest in content themselves? Not necessarily, as exclusivity can still be a real drawing card, and useful for standing out from the competition. But the biggest operators that are able to amortise massive spending on rights acquisitions thanks to their tens of millions of subscribers, can also enter the content fray with the prospect of being less heavily challenged by broadcasters and OTT heavyweights.
• At the same time, however, doing away with net neutrality may also make playing the OTT card on third party operators’ networks more challenging…
• Finally, let us not forget the other possible effects of the new administration in Washington:
- If corporate tax rates are lowered (from 35% to 20%, or even 15%), AT&T and Verizon’s cash flow will be bolstered from 5 to more than 8 billion USD…
- Meanwhile the rigour of antitrust authorities that blocked the AT&T/Sprint and later Sprint/T-Mobile mergers is likely to become far more accommodating, and so open the way for new M&A deals;
- As a result, consolidation could turn the tide on AT&T and Verizon’s shrinking mobile businesses, and make the process of staking out a claim in the content industry a less pressing concern.
So, here at the dawn of 2017, it really does seem like almost anything could happen…
Director of Media and Digital Contents Business Unit, IDATE DigiWorld
In developed countries, the audiovisual sector is experiencing a period of relative stagnation, which will probably be long-term and therefore lead to many challenges for players in the ecosystem. Although the Internet is the major cause of disruption, there are many factors at play.
IDATE DigiWorld drew up 4 scenarios in the last report “Future TV 2025” based on the market environment evolution and the new competitive situation analysis:
Landscape market evolution
• Fundamental regulatory choices: confirmation of Net neutrality, reconciliation of obligations for linear and non-linear services, reform of regional rights allocation.
• Heterogeneous global growth: emerging markets driving growth.
• IT playing an increasing role in video distribution: 'centralisation' with the cloud, the growth of streaming, the growing role played by captured consumer data.
• Increasingly significant personalised video consumption, on-demand and multi-screen ('TV as a service').
The new competitive situation
With an increasingly influential Internet sector, through pure players quickly establishing themselves in the market, accentuating the phenomenon of disintermediation of established players.
Content is more than ever king and ownership of it is crucial, hence increased competition with exclusive premium content is sending rights prices soaring, and new financial backers of original production are emerging.
Also, the market is experiencing a period of concentration (both horizontal and vertical), driven by restructuring of the telecom operators market and the race for control of content.
In this way, new forms of monetisation are appearing in an environment where pay-TV is experiencing downward pressure due to the polarisation between premium and low-cost, the role of service bundles, the development of programmatic advertising and freemium models.
The Trend scenario: a 2,4% expected global growth per year by 2025
The Trend scenario assumes that 2010-2016 trends will continue. In this scenario, the major determining factors are stable. On-demand consumption of audiovisual services continues to grow without destabilising the linear market. The regulatory status quo maintains a local approach to markets. Finally, we see a steady rise in influence of OTT players.
This scenario corresponds to slow growth of the global market, 2.4% per year on average:
• Growth driven primarily by emerging countries
• Stagnating Western European and North American markets
• An evolving market landscape
Four scenarios forecasted
Three others scenarios have been forecasted, each is in favor the stakeholder kind in particular:
“Convergence” scenario: In the Convergence scenario, TV-Internet-telecom bundled offerings predominate. They enable better prices to be offered and provide a complete range of linear TV and on-demand services, as well as music and games services. Multiscreen consumption, fixed and mobile, is pushed by one (or many) of the operators, providing permanent connectivity to the range of services.
“Disruption” scenario: Personalised video consumption predominates in the Disruption scenario, with more uniform consumer tastes on a global scale. The barriers to worldwide content distribution have collapsed, along with local content regulations. Global players controlling content rights have appeared. The leading Internet players (e-commerce, viral platforms and social networks) play a central role, offering a blend of premium and professional UGC content. The value of the market is under pressure within an oligopolistic OTT video sector on a global scale.
“Syndication” scenario: The Syndication scenario is the most cooperative and most favourable to the TV sector. Similar to how local television stations are affiliated with national 'networks' in the United States, television companies could become affiliated with large national and regional 'entertainment operators', relying on the common core of content they provide, and providing market expertise, relationships to national advertisers, local programming, and their brands and customers in exchange. This transformation takes place in both the broadcast and OTT sectors.
Discover the perspectives, key trends, and scenarios about the TV market through our dedicated report
"The Changing Landscape of Advertising : from traditional to digital"
DigiWorld Economic Journal n°104
Interview with Tim SCHUMACHER
Chairman & Co-Founder, Eyeo GmbH
Conducted by Florence LE BORGNE - BACHSCHMIDT, IDATE DigiWorld
DW Economic Journal: Eyeo GmbH is the owner and operator of "Adblock Plus", the leading open source software which allows users to block or filter the ads they accept to see, with more than 500 million downloads since 2006. Beyond that, Eyeo aims at making the Internet better for all parties, by encouraging true innovation and non-intrusive ad standards and a better user experience. Could you provide an overview on Eyeo's project?
Tim SCHUMACHER: Eyeo's mission is to empower users for a free web. To do that we offer a wide range of products and services that keep the power with the user and create fair compensation for content creators. For instance, as part of Adblock Plus, we offer Acceptable Ads, which is our compromise to better, more user-friendly ads. We help advertisers and publishers to integrate Acceptable Ads into their websites. In September we launched a new way for medium-sized publishers to whitelist ads more efficiently.
We are also working on an independent Acceptable Ads committee which is planned to be in office early 2017. The committee is going to consist of representatives from different interest groups within online advertising, such as members of the ads industry, nonprofit and consumer groups, and also thought leaders. By making Acceptable Ads independent, we have already been able to spread our vision of granular, nuanced ad blocking to other ad blockers who have adopted it.
We are also going to launch a stable version Flattr Plus shortly which is at the moment in beta test. Flattr Plus is a service through which users can easily reward the content they like. We believe that some users are eager to pay a small amount to support their favourite websites, articles or videos.
The joint vision of our projects is to empower users' rights, while protecting and improving the ability to make money for content creators.
The great paradox of online advertising is that without Internet ads, there is barely any free online content. To what extent do you feel that the general mass understands this paradox, and what is your stance on spreading this knowledge to the users?
Most users agree on the fact that pop-ups, autoplay videos and blinking banners are intrusive. So what can advertisers do to make their ads acceptable for users? Adblock Plus started as a hobby project in 2006 that blocked all ads, but as downloads skyrocketed Adblock Plus wanted to create a more sustainable approach. In 2011 we developed the Acceptable Ads initiative, a novel approach that empowers users while keeping the Internet free. We established Acceptable Ads because we don't believe complete ad blocking is the right way. The web needs advertising, and the purpose of the initiative is to find advertising formats that even ad-blocking users will accept.
In the course of our research we asked thousands of users, we talked to advertisers and created the Acceptable Ads criteria, which users can either activate or deactivate in their extension. Most users actually don't deactivate Acceptable Ads, because they are aware of the fact that advertisements on the web keep their content free.
At a period when the use of big data is key for understanding the consumer, Eyeo also proposes tools enabling users to decide which company they share data with. Various surveys suggest that users (especially the younger generation) are willing to accept some advertising (and thus share their data) in exchange for online contents, as long as these ads are not intrusive and/or annoying. Does the analysis of your software tools users back up such survey suggestions?
We do not collect our users' data, thus we don't have any behavioural data of our users.
We have done a lot of research though, for example a big research with HubSpot. There we found out that 83% of users agree it's just the obnoxious ads they want to avoid, 77% want to filter rather than block.
In September 2016 you announced the Acceptable Ads Platform, which in a nutshell shows users advertising which has been "deemed acceptable", irrespective of installation of Adblock Plus. How do you manage to convince websites' publishers, ad networks and advertisers to join this platform? What guarantee do they have that they will not lose ad revenue or that their ads will actually be seen by users?
The Acceptable Ads platform is for publishers and website owners to easily integrate Acceptable Ads into their pages with just a single tag. Users that have activated Acceptable Ads in their extension will then see these ads. Please note that all other users see the ads the website owner initially integrated, and that this is merely a technically easier way to join the Acceptable Ads initiative – under which the exact same criteria still apply. We have talked to many publishers and advertisers and most are on the user's side, willing to make better ads. As the whole procedure is scalable publishers can only gain revenue with our solution.
In fact, in just 24 hours over 1,000 publishers signed up for it, so we are eager to start beta-testing this new implementation of the pre-existing Acceptable Ads initiative.
Staying on the subject of acceptable ads, what is "acceptable" will likely be different from user to user. How then, can advertisers provide better user experience and higher revenue for publishers? Will the next step be to pay users for accepting to share their data or to see ads?
I don't think users will have to start sharing their data. The next step in finding what "acceptable" is for more people and improving the entire programme in Acceptable Ads Committee. This committee will determine what is acceptable and what is not at the end of this year, and several user groups (nonprofit groups, academics, user agents) will sit on it. So I think we've got that covered.
Otherwise, what we've found is that most users are willing to accept ads which make use of certain criteria, like those we deemed acceptable. These criteria rely on size, placement and labelling regulations.
Apart from these criteria we believe that ads have to be respectable and well integrated into the content. Publishers do not have to collect user data in order to accomplish this task. The key is to make ads that add value for the user.
Over the past few years, uptake of ad blocking on the mobile seems to have grown sharply (as opposed to the fixed). Could you shed any light on why the mobile has suddenly become the mainstream for ad blocking?
I would not call mobile ad blocking mainstream just yet, but it's gaining popularity. The main reason for the increasing popularity is for example intrusiveness of ads, which is especially annoying on the smaller display of mobile devices. Other reasons are saving data; reducing page load speeds; privacy and security. While recent reports claim there are massive numbers of mobile ad-blocking users in Asia, putting the grand total at 419 million worldwide (!) North American and European users do not block ads on their phones in significant numbers. I think this will change in 2017 as people discover ad blocking browsers on their phones and tablets.
In the "big picture" of digital advertising, the giants Google and Facebook dominate the market. How much of an influence do these players have on ad blocking, and what expectations do you have on them going forwards?
Historically, both Google and Facebook have actually been very thoughtful and careful about user experience, one of the key factors which made them strong. Google's founder Larry PAGE for example just recently said as part of an analyst call "Part of it is the industry needs to do better at producing ads that are less annoying and that are quicker to load, and all those things. And I think we need to do a better job of that as an industry.", and we fully agree.
Facebook on the other hand has made some recent strange moves when it announced that it would start trying to circumvent users with ad-blocking software and show them ads. This is an unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice. But it's also no reason to overreact: cat-and-mouse games in tech have been around as long as spammers have tried to circumvent spam filters. In the long run, we have some trust in Facebook to at some point put the user first again, and stop behaviours like that.
More generally, how do you see the future prospects of digital advertising? Eyeo is fighting against annoying and low quality ads, but do you have the impression that the weight of ad blockers now pushes the ad agencies to be really more innovative? Have you identified any interesting, catchy new formats?
Absolutely! All the recent initiatives, for example IAB's "LEAN Ads" initiative or the "Coalition for Better Ads" which just recently formed at DMEXCO conference and includes many of the best and biggest advertisers and publishers in the world. None of this would have happened if users hadn't ‘voted with their mice' and told corporations that they were fed up with annoying advertising online. So as much as we're proud of helping with this, we really have to thank our users.
Tim SCHUMACHER co-founded and was the longtime CEO of the publicly traded company Sedo AG (sedo.com), which currently has revenues of 130m Euros per year and maintains approximately 350 employees. Since 2012 he has dedicated his professional career to the German start-up scene, acting both as business angel and mentor for young companies with economic potential. His current start-ups, among others, are Eyeo/Adblock Plus, Aklamio, Stuffle and Ecosia.
CEO, IDATE DigiWorld
Provided Q4 results confirm the trend, this would be the first time since 2008 that the market is on an upwards swing.
According to the recent ETNO-IDATE report, the telecom services market in Europe (EU-28) is stabilising, and even enjoying a slight uptick in Europe as a whole. Whereas the North American market has been enjoying steady growth over the past decade and Europe has been on a downwards slide, the situation has flipped – with market growth on the other side of the pond hovering around 0%, combining a close to 1% decrease in the mobile market during the first three quarters and very slight growth in the fixed market thanks to cable companies.
Annual telecom services revenue growth (ETNO, % )
In this rather sombre situation in Western markets, despite the remarkable success with 4G customers, monetising mobile access appears to be wavering between two main options.
- After an initial period where unmetered plans became the norm, using the argument of network congestion operators began selling plans that were tiered based on data caps. The common practice was to encourage customers who were using their smartphones and tablets more and more to upgrade to a larger allowance, while decreasing the price per Gb of data. But fierce competition makes it hard to escape a deflationary trend, particularly in markets where quality metrics do not appear to play a decisive role in differentiating operators.
- We thus saw operators turn to supplying content services, and applying zero rating, either through agreements with third party suppliers (Vodafone, T-Mobile) or with their own content (AT&T, Verizon). If the content is attractive enough, it can set an operator apart from the competition.
Some, however, see the zero rating trend as grounds for reviving the net neutrality debate. So what’s the problem? While it is clearly a good thing for consumers, the opponents of zero rating argue the following. If the service provider has paid the operator, we can expect to see a decline in diversity and innovation in the applications sector that benefits market heavyweights, which are able to finance their access to the market. If the service provider belongs to the operator (or is controlled by it), there can be discrimination if only that service benefits from zero rating. The problem is that there is a disagreement over whether these two suppositions are well founded, and require specific ex ante regulation, and especially whether they fall under the scope of net neutrality. The government of India forbade Facebook from offering a set of basic applications (including its social network) for free to the country’s mobile operators. Despite having been behind the Open Internet Order, which reclassifies ISPs as common carriers as defined by Title II of the Telecommunications Act, FCC Chairman Wheeler has been very circumspect about zero rating up to now, believing that the trend needs to be observed for a period of time before drawing any conclusions. Of course, the incoming Trump administration will shake up the FCC, and everyone expects the Open Internet Order to be challenged.
Director of Studies, "Telecom Strategies" Business Unit, IDATE DigiWorld
Customer experience draws primarily on customers’ network usage and their perceived quality, as well as their interaction with the telco’s different services (sales, support and administrative), whatever the communication channel.
Customer Experience Management, or CEM, is the term used for the programmes implemented to improve customer experience.
A complex but essential undertaking
In what is now a saturated market, it is essential that operators pay heed to customer experience if they are to retain the loyalty of their subscribers. Yet telcos have fallen behind their counterparts in other sectors, particularly OTT players.
A sophisticated CEM strategy relies on the consolidation of all customer information, not just subscription data and historical contact with the operator, but also network usage, geolocation and even comments posted on forums. Such a complex undertaking is far from being implemented by telcos, who sometimes struggle to reconcile their mixed and mobile databases. Verizon is a typical example of a company with organisational silos, whose fixed and mobile operations are two clearly separate entities.
Customer experience also implies a change in corporate culture, with each employee is required to serve the customer. This implies a sizable managerial undertaking and the involvement of senior management is therefore essential.
Customer experience incorporates increasingly cutting-edge technologies
The digitisation of communication channels is gathering momentum, including stores (interactive kiosks, click & collect services) and call centres (agents communicating with customers via chats or messaging).
In order to minimise their costs, operators are installing increasingly intelligent automated solutions. Websites host virtual agents based on artificial intelligence, while call centres use interactive voice servers with speech recognition technology. Telcos can also draw on the technological tools developed by the Internet giants: data analytics, predictive analytics, profiling, event processing and biometric authentication, as well as artificial intelligence, chatbots, machine learning and even blockchain.
Yet the human aspect remains an essential, differentiating factor
Websites offer chat options and social networks are developing in this area. User forums provide an ideal intermediate solution, offering the human aspect but less costly.
Faced with competition from low-cost operators, the big telcos are taking their stores more upmarket with a focus on customer experience, in an effort to enhance customer loyalty and expand the range of subscriber services, particularly connected objects.
Opportunities for innovation: social media, mobile and personalised services
Social networks also represent a new means of communication between operator and subscriber. They offer a wealth of information that can be used to match the best message and solution to each individual customer.
While telcos are clearly aware that mobile is an essential link between operator and subscriber, the applications rolled out so far are seeing only limited success. Mobile represents a considerable opportunity in terms of innovation for telcos, who can combine usage and geolocation data to offer solutions that are both personalised and contextual, and even to position themselves as trusted third parties.
The key challenge of CEM is to incorporate data from customers’ various interactions with the operator and their social networks. Operators can use analytics tools to offer personalised solutions to customers, anticipating and meeting their needs as they gradually wind down the traditional communication channels (which are more costly). In particular, the fine-tuning of contextual solutions based on usage (Vodafone targeting subscribers going skiing abroad, for example) is still a relatively untapped growth outlet.
This process could also be used for other ends: optimising network deployment by closely analysing network usage or evaluating customer experience data (incorporating geolocation data in particular), which could then be sold to third parties.
Delve deeper about Telecom Customer Experience Management with the following IDATE DigiWorld market report
Didier Pouillot & Sophie Lubrano , IDATE DigiWorld
Faced with the challenge of digitising government operations, the economy and everyday life, Africa is innovating with singular development models that make use of the latest technologies.
Africa has a number of singular features that have carried over into an original development model. First, the weak purchasing power in most countries has driven the rise of a low-cost market, both for services and mobile handsets, primarily with a prepaid model. The transition to data services could follow the same path, dominated by low-end plans billed based on data volume. Further down the road, Africa’s growing middle class will make it possible to move beyond the low-cost approach and foster the development of value-added products.
The region has also managed to capitalise on the latest technologies, leapfrogging over several stages of development, starting with the use of wireless technologies for accessing the Web. The continent should also benefit eventually from upcoming innovations such as constellations (drones, balloons, micro–satellites) to bring access to rural areas. Lastly, Africa has been a seedbed of innovations in services, in the financial arena (e.g. the well-known success of e-money), health, farming and education. Also noteworthy is the development of entertainment services, with well established film and TV production hubs and the more recent video game hubs.
Africa’s digital industry is expanding, with the creation of technology hubs, incubators for start-ups, regional trade and collaboration networks, bolstered by the support of local governments and global digital industry leaders.
DELVE DEEPER WITH THE FOLLOWING IDATE DIGIWORLD MARKET REPORTS
World Telecom Services Market: Trends & Analyses, July to December 2015 – Jan. 2016
World LTE market & MBB spectrum: Markets at June 2015 & Forecasts to 2019
World FTTx market: Markets at December 2015 & Forecasts to 2020 – Jul. 2016
Telco investment challenges: CapEx dynamics – Dec. 2015
Frédéric Pujol, Head of the mobile services, IDATE DigiWorld
Europe’s future society and economy will rely heavily on 5G infrastructure. The impact will go far beyond existing wireless access networks, with the of having faster communication services that are available everywhere, all the time.
5G is a real opportunity for the European ICT sector, which is already well positioned in the global R&D race. 5G technologies will be adopted and deployed globally in line with the needs of developed and emerging markets.
While many of the technical aspects attached to 5G are scaling up globally, requirements analysis for key vertical sectors is progressing rapidly. The emergence and deployment of 5G technology is likely to trigger innovation in the industry, thus leveraging sustainable societal change.
There is a vision for 5G to become a stakeholder-driven, holistic ecosystem for technical and business innovation, integrating networking, computing and storage resources into one programmable and unified infrastructure. In addition, thanks to real-time and larger traffic volume capabilities, 5G is expected to enable the transport of software to the data rather than the other way round, i.e. executing software on the device where the data are produced instead of sending all data to a centralised datacentre – thereby paving the way for new opportunities in the cloud computing market, where European companies could gain a significant market share.
In the long run, it will not be enough to explore the requirements of vertical industries, and a proper analysis will also need to be conducted of market trends to sense new, upcoming technology, especially from companies outside the industrial mainstream. Potentially disruptive technologies typically go widely undetected by the established industry, but clearly have a real potential to become engines of significant technical change and innovation. Unanticipated 5G features are likely to emerge from future technological, legal, societal and socio-economic considerations
DELVE DEEPER WITH THE FOLLOWING IDATE DIGIWORLD MARKET REPORTS
World LTE market & MBB spectrum: Markets at June 2015 & Forecasts to 2019 Players - Technologies - CapEx – Pricing – Dec. 2015
Key outcomes from WRC-15: Four years to pave the way for the future of telecoms, Feb. 2016
Blockchain & Financial market transformation: The challenges and opportunities of FinTech for the financial industry
Senior Consultant, IDATE DigiWorld
Banking has long represented a big market for IT and digital technologies. It is probably one of the sectors that has invested the most in information technologies over time, for retail banking activities, and more recently for risk control systems to ensure compliance with banking and finance regulations.
More recently, however, digital innovation in this sector has been overtaken by the explosion of FinTech. Hundreds of start-ups have demonstrated the potential to innovate and transform the banking and finance as we know it. In light of recent events, several areas of innovation have emerged from the development of FinTech, either in competition or partnership with veteran banking industry players.
Every corner of the financial sector is affected, from payment solutions, to credit and lending activities faced with crowdsourced alternatives, the use of blockchains and cryptocurrency-based solutions, to the emergence of high frequency trading, big data analysis solutions and AI roboadvisors.
These technologies are disrupting the finance ecosystem, and paving the way for new players, and new business models. They also open up opportunities for the industry to transform itself and become more efficient and profitable.
DELVE DEEPER WITH THE FOLLOWING IDATE DIGIWORLD MARKET REPORTS
Blockchain, Oct. 2016
Mobile Payment: The state of the industry, amid new stakes, Apr. 2016
Pierre-Michel Attali & Nicolas Moreno, IDATE DigiWorld
Europe 2020, the key document in Europe’s growth strategy for the coming years, published by the EuropeanCommission in May 2010, unveiled the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE).
One of the main questions concerns the efficiency of the different national plans (technological approach, funding, regulation…) which have been designed to achieve the objectives of the DAE.
National programme objectives in sync with the Digital Agenda for Europe
With the exception of France, whose coverage objectives are two years behind Europe’s, and Sweden which does not have specific time-related targets, many national plans are in line with DAE coverage objectives. Most European countries have also set additional targets, in most cases to achieve more ambitious UFB objectives, either in terms of connection speeds (France, Italy) or time frame (Germany, Sweden).
Currently disparate landscape
The disparate coverage levels in European countries cannot be attributed to any single factor, but rather to a combination of demographics, technological choices and the strength of private investment. Each European country has established a public policy (objectives, technologies) based on its own situation and features. These national plans are vital but in themselves not enough to achieve complete superfast coverage, or nationwide ultrafast 100 Mbps coverage down the road.
DELVE DEEPER WITH THE FOLLOWING IDATE DIGIWORLD MARKET REPORTS
World FTTx market: Markets at December 2015 & Forecasts to 2020,July 2016
Digital Agenda Europe, Europe (EU-28) at the end of 2015, July 2016
Public policies for UFB, Benchmarking 7 countries in relation to the Digital Agenda for Europe, June 2016
Telco investment challenges, CapEX dynamics, Dec. 2015
Interview with: Ramon Fernandez,
Deputy CEO, Group Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, Orange
''Trust is a key asset in an ever more complex and digital world.''
Why are trust issues at the heart of conversations today?
Perhaps because it has become so rare! We are in a crisis of confidence, which is global and extends across the whole society, beyond the economy. Today, in Europe and in our industry, many people do not trust our ecosystem players with their personal data that they nevertheless share everyday. More and more services are fully dematerialized. A number of very large digital actors are not present in the physical world, have not set up physical shops and a growing share of customer relationships is performed by robots ... If data is the fuel of our digital world, trust is essential to succeed in the long term.
Is the « trusted third parties » notion – which is often extended to telecom operators, still meaningful?
More than ever in our digital world, we are operating in an increasingly open, fragmented and dynamic environment; it is more and more important to have reference points. With the rise of new digital players, trust is built through new and evolving markers, it becomes distributed: for example a sum of other users’ insights about an apartment on Airbnb or about a car on Drivy, or the blockchain algorithm... More than a "trusted third party" strictly speaking, customers are looking for a truly trusted partner. Orange wants to play that role.
What role does the Orange Mobile Banking project play in this positionning as « trusted partner »?
It is based on the "trust capital" we have built and earned over time with millions of customers around the world, that Orange can today be legitimate to manage its customers’ money. It is also its credibility in terms of innovation, which means that Orange is expected to offer a new and fully mobile banking experience. Finally, it is an opportunity to leverage our experience in Africa where we have 20 million Orange Money customers. So there is a real logic for Orange to launch its own financial services and we are doing it in partnership with Groupama.