Interview with Martin FRANSMAN : the Innovation Ecosystem


Published in DigiWorld Economic Journal DWEJ No. 102
"Mobile dynamics: the path to 5G"

Interview with Martin FRANSMAN
Professor of economics, Founder-director of the Institute for Japanese-European Technology Studies, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Conducted by Anders HENTEN Aalborg University, Balllerup, Denmark


DW Economic Journal: What do you mean by an "Innovation Ecosystem"?

Martin FRANSMAN: By an "Innovation Ecosystem" I mean a group of players who through their symbiotic interactions (both cooperative and competitive) make innovation happen and, by so doing, coevolve over time.

How may the idea of an Innovation Ecosystem be applied?

The key point to bear in mind is that an "Innovation Ecosystem" is not an observable object. Rather it is a conceptual construct which serves a particular purpose. This important point requires some elaboration.

As Edith PENROSE has pointed out, "a "firm is by no means an unambiguous clear-cut entity; it is not an observable object physically separable from other objects, and it is difficult to define except with reference to what it does or what is done within it". She goes on to observe that "Herein lies a potential source of confusion" [1]. The same is true of an "Innovation Ecosystem".

This becomes clear in reflecting on my definition of an Innovation Ecosystem as a group of players who make innovation happen. This raises the question of which players should be included in the ecosystem and which excluded. This is the question of the appropriate boundary of the Innovation Ecosystem being conceived. How far "back" is it necessary to go in conceiving of an Innovation Ecosystem?

If we are using the concept of Innovation Ecosystems to understand how innovation happens in the Mobile Telecommunications sector, for example, where should this boundary be drawn? It may be readily agreed that players such as final consumers, telecoms operators, telecoms equipment suppliers, and regulators should be included in the ecosystem. And for some purposes this definition may suffice. However, if the purpose is to understand the main determinants of the innovation process in this sector the net should obviously be considerably widened to include, for instance, universities and government research institutes who not only do relevant research but also provide important training. Other players may also merit inclusion in order to achieve the purpose.

This example makes it clear that an appropriate conceptualisation of an Innovation Ecosystem depends on the purposes and questions asked in the investigation. But complications may go even further than this. For example, even if different analysts can agree on the purposes and questions they may differ regarding which players should necessarily be included.

In view of problems such as these it is necessary to exercise more caution than is usually done in defining an innovation ecosystem. At the very least it is important to make explicitly clear the purposes and questions that are being pursued as well as the reasons for particular boundary decisions.

What in your view is the difference between an "Innovation System" and an "Innovation Ecosystem" and why did you choose to use the latter concept in your work?

The literature on innovation in this area tends to fall into two groups. The Innovation System Group, which is more homogeneous, is made up primarily of heterodox economists such as Chris FREEMAN, Dick NELSON and Stan METCALFE. They all acknowledge intellectual inspiration from the work of Joseph SCHUMPETER. Having originally trained as economists they all came to believe that the various approaches to economic growth adopted by mainstream economics do not provide a sufficiently robust explanation of how economic growth happens and why different countries often exhibit different growth patterns. They also share a common belief that innovation is the most important driver of economic growth and that mainstream economics does not have an adequate understanding of how innovation happens and who makes it happen. The concept of an "Innovation System", originally proposed by Chris FREEMAN in his book on Japan [2], is put forward as an alternative way of explaining growth. Central to this concept, and explicit in their definitions of "innovation system", is the role played by institutions understood not only in the Douglass NORTH sense of rules of the game but also as non-firm determinants that help (and perhaps hinder) innovation and therefore economic growth.

The Innovation Ecosystem literature, in contrast, is far more heterogeneous. It tends to come from scholars with a background in business studies. A notable example is the iconic book by IANSITI & LEVIEN from Harvard Business School, The Keystone Advantage: what the new dynamics of business ecosystems mean for strategy, innovation, and sustainability. A central concern in this literature is the cooperative networks created by complementary businesses which both individually and jointly create value for customers. The common belief (whether tacit or explicit) is that the truth lies in the constellation of businesses, rather than in individual businesses taken alone. This has important implications for dealing with topics such as business strategy and sustainability.

In contrast, my own use of the terms "ecosystem" and "innovation ecosystem" is inspired not so much by business behaviour as by the example of biological ecosystems with their populations of interacting organisms and species. As Alfred MARSHALL, the nineteenth century economist said, "The Mecca of the economist lies in economic biology rather than in economic dynamics" [3]. This analogy, however, should not be pushed too far and I insist that the basic unit that makes up the "players" in my ecosystem are purposive and conscious individuals whose decisions and actions imply necessary complications such as beliefs, mistakes, and expectations which are not pre-determined in any meaningful sense of this word. Whilst there is significant overlap between my "ecosystem" and the concepts of Innovation System and Innovation Ecosystem perhaps the main difference is the emphasis I give to the dilemmas involved in interacting individuals, albeit in populations, understanding and acting in the uncertain world that is ours.

Can the concept of Innovation Ecosystem contribute to our understanding of leadership in an area such as mobile telecommunications?

The first problem in answering this question is to agree on what should be understood in this context by "leadership". Both countries and companies may lead, the former, for example, in performance of infrastructure and services, and the latter, for instance, in terms of indicators such as revenue growth, market capitalisation, and market share.

Having agreed on who leads the next problem is to explain why this leader has been able to lead. It is here that the concept of an Innovation Ecosystem as defined earlier potentially becomes useful. Let us take several examples to illustrate.

The first example is the lead by "Europe" in 2G mobile. Not only were the main European telecoms operators able to introduce world-leading 2G mobile infrastructure and services, the key European mobile equipment providers, notably Ericsson and Nokia, were able to become globally dominant players. Why did this happen?

Whilst the answer to this question clearly necessitates that we understand the strengths (and also weaknesses) of these two groups of company players there were other important determinants without which their global leadership would have been, if not impossible, then far less likely. These include, notably, the prior establishment of an agreed Nordic mobile set of standards and systems initially meant to facilitate inter-country mobile communications within the Nordic region as well as the establishment and functioning of a set of European institutions that enabled the emergence of GSM standards. These events required the interventions of other players, including policy-makers, regulators, and researchers. By following this kind of reasoning we will be able to identify both the relevant players and the ecosystem of symbiotic interactions that facilitated the eventual global success of GSM.

The second example is the remarkable rise of Huawei as a leading player not only in telecoms equipment but also, more recently, in smartphones. Once again, a key part of the explanation must involve an account of the emerging capability inside this company to successfully innovate. This success was dramatically illustrated by the successful entry of this company as a supplier to some of Europe's major telecoms operators in the face of very strong and long-standing competition from the key European telecoms equipment providers. Crucially, this entry depended not only on a Chinese comparative advantage-based cost benefit but also on the ability of Huawei to address some of the important problems expressed by the operators.

But reflection soon reveals that there is more to this success story than only what happened within Huawei. Also significant was Huawei's membership of the Chinese Innovation Ecosystem. Although at first a Chinese outsider that depended as much on other emerging countries as it did on the poorer Chinese regions for sale of its equipment, Huawei, with adept leadership, soon developed sufficiently strong capabilities to become a domestic supplier of growing importance able to both contribute to and benefit from the rapid growth of China and its telecoms infrastructure. Fleshing this story out requires an account of the key players (including, for instance, Chinese universities and other organisations) in the Chinese Innovation Ecosystem whose interactions made important contributions.

The third example is the central role of the US in smartphone developments. Here too a discussion is needed of the key telecoms operators and equipment providers as well as other important players such as policy-makers, regulators, university and other research organisations. But also of crucial importance is the direction taken by the evolution of the mobile telecoms sector itself. More specifically it is also important to understand the convergence of the mobile telephone and the computing subsectors that, until the advent of the smartphone with its own operating system, were largely distinct. This convergence gave a huge opportunity to the US that had always dominated the field of computing from its origins. Once the phone became in effect a computer that added many other functionalities US players, incumbents and new entrants, were able to leverage the superior computing capabilities that they and their ecosystem possessed in this area.  This was also a significant contributor to US dominance.

As these three examples illustrate, the idea of Innovation Ecosystems can make a significant contribution to our ability to understand and explain these cases of leadership. However, the conceptual caveats mentioned in the answer to the first question must be kept in mind in deploying this idea.

Does the idea of Innovation Ecosystems have any positive implications for a European attempt to regain global leadership in the field of mobile telecommunications?

We must be careful not to slip into the voluntaristic error, i.e. "create the correct Innovation Ecosystem and all will be well!". The reason is that there are always some given constraints that remain binding. Examples are the historically inherited stock of capabilities, whether one's own or those of competitors; the given institutional framework; etc. One apposite example is the demise of Nokia as one of the global mobile industry's foremost pioneers and leaders.

From my personal discussions with some of Nokia's most important leaders I have no doubt that in its last years the company and its key decision-makers had an excellent understanding of what here is called the idea of an Innovation Ecosystem. Indeed, many of the company's key documents, both private and public, were formulated using the terminology of Innovation Ecosystems. There is every reason to suppose that this made both thinking and strategy formulation in Nokia better than it would have been without these conceptualisations.

However, the fact of the matter, sadly and regretfully, was that Nokia was significantly constrained by its historical path-dependence. More specifically, the company was substantially impeded by the Symbian operating system that it had inherited from the pre-computerised smartphone past. Not only did this operating system have defects from the point of view of application development, a key requirement for competitiveness, relative to the operating systems of the main competitors it suffered important shortcomings. No amount of perceptive Ecosystems thinking could, in the time required by competition, suffice to stay the company's threat of execution at the hands of unforgiving market forces. The same goes for the company's new leaders brought in to try and stay this execution.

The Nokia example has important implications for policy-making that uses the concept of Innovation Ecosystems. The main lesson, to repeat, is to avoid voluntaristic errors by coming to better understand what can, and what cannot, be changed by purposeful action.

How useful is the idea of Company Innovation Ecosystems?

Paradoxically, very little scholarly work has been done on how innovation happens, and who makes it happen, within purposefully created Company Innovation Ecosystems. Even the book by IANSITI & LEVIEN referred to earlier, despite the word "innovation" in its subtitle, does not delve into these questions, preferring to devote only a little attention to the incentive to create organisational innovation that benefits the business network/ecosystem as a whole. Accordingly, these questions unfortunately remain unaddressed.

The "open innovation" literature does not do justice to these questions either. Although the issue of innovation players outside the focal firm is explicitly addressed the questions of how all the players in the company's Innovation Ecosystem make innovation happen and who can and should make it happen are not discussed. Yet these questions are crucial for any company or other organisation wanting to improve performance through innovation.

What kind of guidance can be given to the leaders of companies who would like to make use of the idea of Company Innovation Ecosystems in order to improve their performance? This question is currently occupying a good deal of my attention.


[1] PENROSE, E. T. (1959), The Theory of the Growth of the Firm, Basil BLACKWELL, Oxford, p. 10.
[2] FREEMAN, C. (1987), Technology Policy and Economic Performance: Lessons from Japan, PINTER, London.
[3] MARSHALL, A. (1962), Principles of Economics, Macmillan, London, p. xii.Martin FRANSMAN is Professor of Economics in the School of Economics at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of numerous books and articles including The New ICT Ecosystem: Implications for Policy and Regulation (Cambridge University Press) which won the Joseph Schumpeter Prize.

 More information on DigiWorld Economic Journal No. 102 "What do you really mean by 5G from a technology perspective? on our website

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Où en est l’Europe dans le déploiement du très haut débit ?


Yves Gassot,
Directeur général, IDATE DigiWorld

Une récente étude IDATE DigiWorld souligne globalement le retard des marchés européens dans l’atteinte des objectifs l’Agenda Numérique pour le très haut débit (50% des foyers connectés en 2020 doivent l’être à travers des accès à plus de 100Mbps).

A l’occasion des 10èmes Assises du Très Haut Débit (Aromates-IDATE DigiWorld) qui se sont tenues le 6 juillet à Paris, nous avons présenté en avant-première les chiffres de couverture des pays européens à fin 2015 en s’appuyant sur nos bases de données FTTx,les dernières informations collectées auprès des régulateurs et des opérateurs, ainsi que sur une étude que nous venons de publier sur le thème « Digital Agenda in Europe : a snapshot ».

Classement des pays européens très haut débit : taux de couverture NGA à 30 et 100 Mbps (à décembre 2015)
Source : IDATE DigiWorld: Digital Agenda Europe, July 2016 juillet 2016)

La situation est donc contrastée et pour de nombreux pays l’objectif sera difficile à atteindre sans que des mesures importantes soient mises en œuvre. Les pays les plus en avance profitent d’une large présence de réseaux câblés, et du choix par l’incumbent d’options techniques moins radicales que le déploiement de la fibre jusqu’à chez l’abonné (FTTH). La Belgique par exemple combine une large couverture par des réseaux câblés mis à niveau avec les technologies Docsis (>100Mps) et le choix par le principal opérateur télécom d’accès très haut débit en cuivre VDSL (>30Mps).

Les grands pays sont globalement moins bien placés pour atteindre les objectifs de l’Agenda Numérique. Ainsi en France, l’option prioritaire donnée à  la fibre (FTTH), la couverture  relativement limitée des réseaux câblés (40% des foyers), et le démarrage très progressif des projets en zone de faible densité –couvrant plus de 40% des prises à terme- basés sur des investissements Publics/Privés,  se sont traduits par un positionnement en queue de peloton tant en terme de prises commercialisables très haut débit que de vitesse moyenne d’accès à l’Internet. La situation est plus favorable pour  le Royaume Uni et l’Allemagne qui ont vu BT et DT déployer rapidement des offres VDSL (>30Mbps) en réaction à la concurrence agressive du câble. L’Espagne qui combine des investissements en FTTH et dans le câble occupe aussi une place plus favorable dans ces classements. Seule l’Italie qui a vu son opérateur historique tarder à investir de façon significative dans le FTTH et n’a pas pu s’appuyer sur des infrastructures de câble, fait moins bien que la France.

L’étude IDATE DigiWorld montre que lorsque les réseaux à Très Haut Débit sont là, les clients répondent présents. Les taux d’abonnement sont ainsi largement supérieurs dans les zones équipées en accès  Ultra Haut Débit (100 Mbps et plus). On peut dès lors tabler sur un processus de différenciation vertueux encourageant les investissements dans la montée en débit avec la perspective de voir non pas une hausse systématique des tarifs d’accès à l’Internet mais des options correspondant aux différents besoins.

On ne peut toutefois dans cette perspective sous-estimer la complexité de la tâche du régulateur jusqu’alors définie par le règlement européen relatif au dégroupage de la boucle locale en cuivre.  Le retrait de l’ADSL au profit du  VDSL (avec Vectoring/Bonding et Gfast)  comme le FTTH semblent jouer naturellement à l’avantage de l’incumbent, laissant ce dernier en duopole avec le câble.  Ce schéma toutefois est beaucoup trop grossier si l’on prend en compte (en observant notamment le cadre réglementaire français)  le potentiel de duplication des infrastructures à très haut débit dans les zones denses, l’intérêt pour des opérations de partage des investissements dans les zones de moyennes densité,  le rôle des investissements publics/privés en zones de faible densité et naturellement les promesses du très haut débit mobile.

Bel été pour tous nos lecteurs !

Retrouvez nos analyses sur le très haut débit en Europe en commandant nos études :

Digital Agenda in Europe : a snapshot
World FTTx market : Markets at December 2015 & Forecasts to 2020

Par ailleurs, découvrez les dernières études IDATE DigiWorld :

Industrial Internet: toward the 4th industrial revolution
World OTT Markets: Markets & Forecasts up to 2020
Content Economics: How digital distribution is impacting content industries?

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Mobile payment: M-commerce market revenue will likely grow from 2015 to 2019 at a CAGR of 26.5%


Hao Yi Emerging technologies expert, IDATE DigiWorld

The development of the mobile payment market was still heterogeneous in 2015.



The m-commerce payment market grew steadily, whereas the in-store mobile payment market remained nascent given the transaction volume, although the release of Apple Pay one year earlier had seemingly put an end to the doubts about near field communication (NFC) being the right technology for in-store proximity payment.


IDATE DigiWorld estimates that the worldwide m-commerce market revenue will likely grow from 2015 to 2019 at a CAGR of 26.5%, growing its share 26% of the overall value of the e-commerce market to 44.2%. As regards the arrival of in-store mobile payments with NFC technology, QR code, mobile wallets, mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solutions and other mobile payment methods, IDATE DigiWorld values their transaction volume to grow at a CAGR of 74% between 2015 and 2019. The volume of in-store mobile payments is tiny compared to the trillions of USD of all point-of-sale (POS) transactions.

On the in-store payment market, no one has really ‘wined out’ as yet, although Internet giants (Apple, Google and Samsung) as well as card networks (Visa and MasterCard) are very active, and numerous new entrants are flooding in.

In addition, NFC payment working with mobile wallets did not see the expected explosion in volume. Even though the technology and NFC-enabled POS terminals have been progressively in place for many years, the perceived value of such services is low for consumers.

From the perspective of merchants, mobile payment alone is not enough to bring about mass adoption.

Find out more about this market in our dedicated report

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Video Solution providers: video distribution will grow by close to 25% per year up to 2020


Jacques Bajon, Director of Media and Digital Contents Business Unit, IDATE DigiWorld

Given, though, the tensions on unit prices, increasing internalisation and competition, the growth in value will be lower than in volumes.



The media industry has to find answers to the increasing personalisation of video consumption. This trend is firming up through the development of on-demand video services and the growing uses of personal devices. Video distribution solutions are needed for the industry, offering them:

More operational efficiency to integrate more IP in their systems;

The ability to adapt to the accelerating innovation cycles being driven by Internet players, with shorter time-to-market solutions and services;

Greater flexibility in an IP-video environment which is in constant evolution.

Alongside the traditional (broadcast) TV distribution chain, a new ecosystem has developed to tackle the needs of the Internet video delivery.

Major improvements have been made over recent years to provide a consistent OTT video experience to end users, including ABR solutions, edge-content caching, the development of software-based solutions and the increasing use of analytics. Some challenges still lie ahead, among them:

Ensuring an always-on quality of service, in particular together with the growth of video traffic and the possible advent of game-changing live-OTT streaming;

Managing the increasing complexity of media assets;

Improving the use of ‘big data’ to favour a better, and more personal, user experience and more efficient advertising.

A large consolidation process occurred in the market between pairs joining up to enhance solution line-ups and/or create end-to-end solutions, and with the verticals where large telcos and cablecos invested in video-management solutions. In turn, new trade-offs then came to the table including for operators and media groups the possible integration of some distribution technologies, the development of collaboration, the increasing use of hybrid (cloud) solutions and the option to choose externalising technical processes.

The move to more IP-based facilities is strong, such as the softwarisation of processes and tools. This shift towards software is to be concretised in a wider concept of software-defined video, which has yet to take shape on a much broader scale. A step further, the virtualisation of process in the cloud has already started.

Popular product line-ups, mainly focused on the idea of enhancing the consumer experience, include seamless multiscreen and TV-everywhere solutions which are already well advanced, unified user interfaces, cloud video recording (CVR), personalisation of video services through big data solutions and recommendation, metadata for enhanced content archiving and circulation and more. Live OTT still has to prove its feasibility on a massive scale and heavy bets are being placed on programmatic ads.

Discover the perspectives,  key trends, and scenarios about the TV market for the next decade through our dedicated report

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Digital Agenda Europe : IDATE DigiWorld dévoile le classement européen des pays à très haut débit


L’Europe a fixé dans son calendrier pour le numérique trois grands objectifs de couverture et d’utilisation de l’accès Internet.

Le premier 100% des foyers connectables à Internet en Broadband a été atteint en 2013 en tenant compte des couvertures fixes, mobiles ou satellites. Le second 100% des foyers connectables en Très Haut débit (soit plus de 30Mbps) est atteignable par une majorité de pays européens, mais certains en sont encore loin. Le troisième se calcule en termes de clientèle ; 50% des foyers connectés doivent l’être à plus de 100Mbps.

A l’occasion des 10ème Assises du Très Haut Débit qui se sont tenues le 6 juillet à Paris, l’étude IDATE Digiworld présentée en avant-première revient sur les chiffres de couverture des pays européens à fin 2015, et présente une comparaison de l’avancement dans les différents pays européens.

« Pour la première fois et en s’appuyant sur nos bases de données mais aussi des dernières informations collectées auprès des régulateurs et des opérateurs, nous sommes à même d’estimer les constructions, livraisons et commercialisations de l’Ultra haut débit, c’est-à-dire à plus de 100Mbps, en Europe. » se félicite Dominique Meunier, Responsable du pôle Télécoms, IDATE DigiWorld.

Classement des pays européens très haut débit : taux de couverture NGA à 30 et 100 Mbps (à décembre 2015)


Source : IDATE DigiWorld, FTTx World Market (Juin 2016)

Le moins que l’on puisse dire est que la situation est contrastée et que pour de nombreux pays l’objectif sera difficile à atteindre sans que des mesures importantes soient mises en œuvre.

Les pays les plus en avance profitent de situations géographiques plus favorables, d’une large présence de réseaux câblés, et de choix techniques moins ambitieux. La Belgique par exemple combine une large couverture par des réseaux câblés mis à niveau avec les technologies Docsis (>100Mps) et le choix par le principal opérateur télécom d’accès très haut débit en cuivre VDSL (>30Mps). La Lituanie de son côté a massivement investit dans un réseau neuf en fibre, laissant tomber son réseau cuivre obsolète.

Les grands pays sont globalement moins bien placés pour atteindre les objectifs du Digital Agenda. La France notamment a fait des choix ambitieux d’architecture sur la fibre, ses réseaux câblés ont une couverture  relativement limitée, et les investissements prévus à plus de 50% par la sphère publique ont connu un démarrage des constructions très progressif. Distancée par les autres grands pays d’Europe, comme le Royaume Uni et l’Allemagne qui ont été vite avec des offres VDSL (>30Mbps) et bénéficient d’une large couverture par le câble, ou même par l’Espagne (câble +FTTH), et ne devançant que l’Italie, la France va devoir accélérer le rythme de livraison de prises FTTH pour rattraper son retard.

Enfin l’étude montre que lorsque les réseaux à Très haut débit sont là, les clients répondent présents. Nous avons ainsi noté un taux d’abonnement largement supérieur dans les zones équipés en accès  Ultra haut débit.

> Programmes des Assises du Très Haut Débit


Pour obtenir plus d'informations sur le marché du Très Haut Débit, découvrez notre rapport dédié (lien en anglais)

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Retour sur les débats DigiWorld Future 2016


Yves Gassot
Directeur Général IDATE DigiWorld,

La prochaine étape de la révolution numérique passe par l’engagement décisif des grands secteurs industriels à la faveur de leur transformation digitale sous la pression de la combinaison des game changers : IoT, Big Data et Intelligence Artificielle.

IDATE DigiWorld vient de publier son rapport annuel, le DigiWorld Yearbook. Cette publication a donné lieu à trois événements publics sous le titre "DigiWorld Future" à Bruxelles, Londres et Paris, qui ont réuni plus de 800 professionnels. Ces conférences ont permis à nos équipes, mais aussi à de nombreuses personnalités de premier plan, de discuter des tendances des marchés et de nos scénarios pour l’Internet, les télécoms et la télévision à l’horizon 2025.

En ce qui concerne les tendances, notre idée est qu’il faut dans la période aller au-delà des incertitudes sur l’essoufflement du marché des smartphones, des déceptions des premiers pas des wearables et des délais associés à l’affirmation d’un marché de masse pour la réalité virtuelle. Elles constituent certes des éléments du contexte, de la même manière que les économistes s’inquiètent de la fin de la "loi de Moore" ou de la baisse des gains de productivité depuis 2006.

Mais notre conviction est qu’il existe un potentiel extraordinaire dans les game changers que constituent l’association de l’IoT, du Big Data et de l’Intelligence Artificielle (voire de l’impression 3D). Les engagements considérables de sociétés comme Michelin ou Engie, présentés lors de nos DigiWorld Future[1], vont certainement avoir un impact en termes de productivité et de transformation des chaînes de valeur (avec notamment une tendance à la "servicisation" dans la relation avec le client final). Sans doute est-on à un moment charnière où l’innovation technique foisonne mais où il y a obligatoirement un temps de latence avant de constater ses conséquences positives : le temps que s’assemblent les éléments du puzzle technique (que l’on pense aux problématiques de standardisation encore complexe des réseaux ou des plateformes de gestion de l’IoT) et que se mettent en place les compétences humaines requises et les business plans pertinents.


> Revoir les interventions en vidéo


Les scénarios du futur

La reconnaissance des tendances est aussi pour nous un socle pour identifier les variables structurantes d’un jeu de scénarios, non pas pour prévoir la stratégie de tel ou tel acteur, mais pour disposer d’une base de réflexion organisée sur les différents futurs possibles, volontairement contrastés.

Ainsi, pour structurer les futurs possibles de l’Internet, nous avons retenu deux grands axes. Un premier axe distingue les scénarios selon qu’ils s’appuient – ou non – sur un niveau important de traitement et de valorisation des données personnelles (plus ou moins contraintes in fine par le degré d’acceptation des internautes et les exigences de la réglementation). L’autre axe permet de définir des scénarios au regard du degré de standardisation et de l’intensité de la concurrence.

Schématiquement, on peut imaginer d’un côté une décomposition extrême des fonctionnalités à travers une offre très complète de solutions Open source et d’API ouverts répondant au paysage rêvé par nos geeks ; tandis que dans l’autre on mettra l’accent sur l’intégration des innovations au sein des grandes plateformes des GAFA combinant effets d’échelle et les économies de réseau.



Mais le mieux est naturellement de se reporter au DigiWorld Yearbook 2016 pour aller plus loin, découvrir aussi les focus réalisés par nos équipes sur les différents marchés et retrouver les informations pertinentes et les analyses sur les principaux événements des 12 derniers mois.

Cela peut aussi être l’occasion pour vous de nous faire des critiques et des suggestions pour l’édition 2017 et les prochaines éditions de "DigiWorld Future" !

le DigiWorld Yearbook

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[1] Mais aussi de bien d’autres entreprises de l’industrie (GE, Audi, Airbus, …) ou encore des grandes activités de services dans l’hôtellerie, la finance (banque et assurance), l’audiovisuel ou les télécoms, etc.


Public Policies for UFB Deployments


Nicolas Moreno
Senior Expert, IDATE DigiWorld

The connected continent: reality check



Nicolas Moreno points out : “In May 2010, the European Commission unveiled the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE). The Digital Agenda is one of the key elements in the European growth strategy for the coming years (Europe 2020) with a target of a 30Mbps coverage for all households in EU-28, of which the half subscribing to a >100Mbps offer.

We conducted a study benchmarking national broadband plans in 7 countries – France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Portugal – in order to provide metrics on the national BB plan advancement. It appears that Portugal and the UK are leading the game regarding the DAE objectives with France and Italy lagging behind.

The disparate coverage levels in the seven countries being studied cannot be attributed to any single factor, but rather to a combination of demographics, technological choices and the strength of private investment.”

National broadband plans – where do we stand regarding DAE

At this stage, as not all national schemes have reached completion, it is impossible to pinpoint a set of best practices, not least because each country’s situation is so different at the study’s outset. Each has established a public policy (objectives, technologies) based on its own situation and features, which makes it very hard to extrapolate to other situations.

Current status compared to DAE objectives


Source: IDATE DigiWorld, National FTTH public policies in Europe, June 2016

The implementation of national plans was accompanied by basic legal measures aimed at facilitating UFB rollouts nationwide. These actions were either included directly in the national plan or ratified in parallel, in response to the different laws.

Summary of regulatory measures introduced in the countries being studied



* As part of symmetric regulation in large cities

Source: IDATE DigiWorld, National FTTH public policies in Europe, June 2016

The programmes also have the common feature of making use of three different sources of financing: European, State and local, with the exception of Portugal where only European and national funding are being used. They do, however, differ in how they apply their support models:

Direct investments: public design-build-operate (DBO) model, i.e. public authorities assuming all three roles, although there may be public-private partnership (PPP) elements as well;

Indirect investments: a public network managed by a private entity, i.e. outsourced or operated as a concession;

Support for local initiatives: high-speed network rollout on the community’s initiative;

Private operator subsidy: a private sector operator given public funding for its rollout, also referred to as shortfall financing or private DBO.

The biggest budgets for national programmes today are in countries where UFB coverage needs are at their highest: 45% and 44% of households eligible for a 30 Mbps plan in France and Italy, respectively. Because of their demographic situation, Sweden and Portugal did not require a large budget to build out coverage and, in some countries (France, Germany, Spain, Sweden), rollout initiatives from local authorities preceded national programmes.


These national plans are vital but in themselves not enough to achieve complete superfast coverage, or nationwide ultra-fast 100 Mbps coverage down the road. That is the reason why search for complementary private investment is one of the cornerstones of all national plans.

The degree of public action varies from country to country, depending on their current situation. The government’s role in creating incentives for private financing is just as important as its role in helping to fund rollouts in those parts of the country ignored by private operators that deem them unprofitable.

Provide you with in-depth knowledge of each examined national broadband plan (technologies deployed, governance monitoring system, detailed data, cross-country analysis grid…) through our new report.

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Industrial Internet: towards the 4th industrial revolution


Samuel Ropert
Lead IoT expert at IDATE DigiWorld

We can already observe the integration of IoT technologies in industry assets – which is commonly called smart factory – and emerging use cases, reducing costs and increasing productivity strikingly.

In our latest study we propose an analysis of the heterogeneous industrial landscape on three major axes: Infrastructure (Industry assets), Offering (innovative products accompanied by related services) and Relation with customers.

Industrial Internet is gaining momentum, but still needs several years for larger adoption and especially for an establishment of common standards – today several technologies and concepts coexist and only the fittest will survive when market maturity is reached.

The industrial infrastructure of industrial assets will be optimised through the development of the smart factory concept by implementing new manufacturing practices that take advantage of ICT innovations. This aims to go beyond the introduction of new technologies in the production process. The core principle is the increase in connections and integration of the different ICT-enabled components in a single networked system. The developments of the smart factory result in gains in production costs as defects are eliminated and automation reduces the intensity of human resources in production tasks. Value thus shifts to research and development and design tasks on the one hand, and to after-sales services on the other hand. These shifts impact players, enabling the development of smaller-scale units focusing on the design and engineering of products on the one hand, and the emergence of platforms and ecosystems on the other. Adoption is still limited as we are but in the early years of the smart factory. Major industries now adopting the smart factory encompass aeronautics, automotive and consumer electronics. Energy and transportation are also deploying IoT solutions along their distribution network architecture.

The Industrial Internet (IIoT) is also considered as a way to improve the appeal of core products by providing more services associated with machines rather than expecting new revenues. As a consequence, vertical players are tending to lower their expectations for data monetisation, focusing essentially on using data for process optimisation mainly, bringing more value to their core products. This is even more true for very expensive machines (aircraft, heavy equipment). However, some industries like automotive still aim to generate additional recurring service-based revenues over time through additional interactions (rather than standalone product sales with renewal several years later). They are pushing their subscription-based services, even though the real adoption is still under interrogation (even for premium manufacturers).

In addition, servicisation is also used to increase customer loyalty, where the traditional product purchase (transaction relationship) is being transformed into a recurrent relationship between suppliers and clients. Moreover, new innovative and disruptive pricing models will be introduced, with the example of tyre manufacturers which sell services (on a per-km basis through Tyre-As-A-Service) for professional fleet managers.

Data will play an important and central role in the future as many players aim to leverage the data collected from the connected objects, chiefly for business reasons. There are still questions around the real monetisation of the data as it is based on the ownership of the data itself and its related control. Early initiatives show data use for internal use, circumventing data privacy issues. To build data-managing platforms, the biggest industry players are tending to develop their own digital solutions. For smaller players, data will likely be exploited by third parties, as they lack the appropriate technical expertise and capacity to combine with other data.

The market of the Industrial Internet will be driven by the enabling technologies (LPWA and big data chiefly) which provide disruptive features. Moreover, different national and international initiatives such as Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) support the development of these new technologies led by the automation and engineering industry giants.


However, in addition to doubts around data monetisation, the market is also facing such barriers as security and reliability concerns, interoperability issues and potential societal impact on workforce training and employment. Furthermore, this is leading industrial giants to have their own data-oriented department and they are required to acquire new skills and expertise around data – a process which also takes time.


Get more insights on infrastructure, products and services, customer relationship related to Industrial Internet as well as an analysis of the value chain, possible monetization of data and general drivers and hurdles.

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Pour la prochaine décennie, l’ère de l’après-smartphone


Pour la prochaine décennie, IDATE DigiWorld annonce l’ère de l’après-smartphone, dans un contexte de connectivités de nouvelle génération et de services Internet hyper-personnalisés.

L’équipe indépendante d’analystes et de consultants spécialisés sur les télécoms, l’internet et les médias, IDATE DigiWorld, vient de rendre publique la nouvelle édition de son rapport annuel DigiWorld Yearbook, qui détaille les tendances à suivre pour la prochaine décennie.

Le rapport couvre le vaste champ de l’économie numérique, du ralentissement des ventes de tablettes à la généralisation des smartphones à bas prix en passant par la croissance soutenue de l’Internet des Objets (loT), les avancées de l’intelligence artificielle (IA) et de la réalité virtuelle (VR). Le think tank européen attire l’attention sur l’augmentation des cyber-attaques auxquelles doivent faire face les entreprises devenues numériques ainsi que sur la question de confiance posée par les consommateurs sur la sécurité de l’IoT, projets de voitures connectées ou maisons intelligentes. La montée en puissance des réseaux très haut débit, notamment en Europe, et l’efficacité des services sur mobile ou à domicile sont également longuement abordés, avec le passage graduel de la 4G à la 5G et le déploiement des réseaux de fibre optique (FTTH).

L'Institut s’interroge sur les conditions de la poursuite de la consolidation des télécoms en Europe, qui semble marquer le pas, et sur le sens des opérations de fusions croisées qui concernent les réseaux, les technologies, la télévision et les médias mais aussi les transports et de nombreux autres secteurs industriels. C’est bien sur le cas de Google et Apple, qui poussent leurs avantages dans l’industrie automobile, ou des majors des télécoms et des technologies, qui se renforcent dans les contenus : services de télévision ou de streaming de films et de musique. À la faveur de l’essor des services en ligne, les experts IDATE DigiWorld prévoient un basculement progressif de la propriété à l’usage, comme par exemple le partage de voiture via une application ou les services de streaming en VOD ou SVOD de musique ou de vidéos qui remplacent les CD, les DVD et le téléchargement. Par ailleurs, ce mouvement vers toujours plus de on demand et de services par abonnement semble d’ores et déjà impacté par l’usage croissant de solutions d’ad-blocking, qui menace de renvoyer au passé l’abondance actuelle des services internet gratuits (de type YouTube).

Le rapport souligne que "le vaste choix de services, désormais commercialisés à un coût unitaire minimal pour une consommation de masse, est à l’origine d’un marché numérique gigantesque, estimé à plus de 2 900 milliards d’euros en 2025, pour les seuls services télécoms et internet, et soutenu par une croissance moyenne de près de 7% par an".

À travers ces quelque deux cent pages, le DigiWorld Yearbook décrit également comment les bitcoins, la blockchain, le paiement mobile et le crowdfunding pourraient déstabiliser les services bancaires et financiers, en ouvrant la perspective de se passer d’intermédiaires, comme c’est d’ailleurs déjà le cas dans d’autres secteurs comme le tourisme ou la distribution. L’analyse aborde également le sujet du big data à travers la façon dont la législation européenne traite les questions d’utilisation et de protection des données privées : dans un futur proche, l’accès croissant aux données personnelles pourrait modifier profondément de nombreux domaine comme par exemple la souscription aux polices d’assurances et l’accès aux prêts bancaires.

"Nous assistons à une vague d’innovations d’une ampleur sans équivalent, souvent qualifiée de quatrième révolution industrielle, caractérisée par la poursuite de la migration vers le cloud, les perspectives de l’internet des objets, du big data, de l’intelligence artificielle, auxquelles s’ajoutent déjà une nouvelle génération d’innovations disruptives comme la blockchain. Tous les acteurs, les groupes leaders du numériques et les grands secteurs verticaux comme les nouveaux entrants et les startups, doivent trouver leur place dans ce nouvel écosystème dont les équilibres sont à redéfinir." souligne François Barrault, Président de IDATE DigiWorld.." souligne François Barrault, Président de IDATE DigiWorld.

En dépit d’un contexte de saturation relative, comme l’indique par exemple le ralentissement observé récemment des ventes de smartphones, IDATE DigiWorld annonce le retour d’une croissance modeste pour les opérateurs de services télécoms et les groupes de médias numériques en Europe pour les prochaines années, et des taux de croissance plus élevés en Chine, en Inde et en Afrique, porteurs d’un nouveau cycle de consolidation au niveau mondial. Par exemple, dans le domaine de la télévision, la zone Asie/Pacifique va devenir le plus grand marché mondial au cours de la prochaine décennie, alors que dans le même temps les marchés européens risquent de s’affaiblir, avec la perspective d’être même confrontés à des taux négatifs.

"Pour la première fois depuis 2008, et malgré les incertitudes qui pèsent sur la poursuite de la consolidation, le secteur des services de télécommunications en Europe pourrait afficher des revenus en hausse", remarque Yves Gassot, Directeur général de IDATE DigiWorld. "Pendant ce temps, les services internet connaissent toujours des taux de croissance annuels à deux chiffres de plus de 15%. Ce segment approchera le seuil des 10% de l’ensemble des marchés du DigiWorld en 2016, et restera orienté à la hausse dans les prochaines années : en seulement deux ans, les services internet auront dépassé les services de télévision et de vidéo, qui continueront malgré tout de croître au rythme de 3 à 4 % par an."

Le DigiWorld Yearbook 2016 a été réalisé à partir des bases de données, des nombreux rapports  et des analyses de prospectives à 2025 publiés tout au long de l’année par les experts IDATE DigiWorld. Il est réalisé avec le support de grands groupes leaders des télécoms, de l’internet, de l’IT, de la TV et des médias numériques et
des secteurs verticaux, soit plus de 50 membres comme Accenture, AT&T, BT, Google, Gemalto, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Orange, Tata et Samsung…

> Information sur le rapport (sommaire, tarif…) sur www.idate.org

Le rapport est présenté dans le cadre du cycle de conférence DigiWorld Future à Bruxelles (25 mai), à Londres (2 juin) et à Paris (14 juin) en présence de CEO venant partager leur vision de l’économie numérique en 2025.

> Le programme complet est présenté sur www.digiworldfuture.com

DigiWorld Yearbook infographies

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 schema_DWYB2016_5  schema_DWYB2016_6  schema_DWYB2016_7  schema_DWYB2016_8

Commandez le DigiWorld Yearbook 2016 sur notre site !

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Allocation of new frequencies


Carole Manero
Senior Consultant IDATE DigiWorld

Disappointing results for the mobile industry and satisfactory results for broadcasters and the satellite industry.


World Radio Conference-15 key outcomes

Spectrum is vital for many industries – allocations are decided at a WRC. At the most recent WRC, late in 2015, many hot topics were raised, including the allocation of new frequencies to International Mobile Telecommunications and to satellite services. Globally, WRC-15 led to some very important conclusions. In the end, it delivered disappointing results for the mobile industry and satisfactory results for broadcasters and the satellite industry.

Focus on item 1.2: the 700 MHz band, 96 MHz identified for IMT use in Region 1 and in few countries in Region 3

The 700 MHz frequencies are very valuable and often considered as golden spectrum because of its propagation characteristics. The 700 MHz band is of critical importance for players both in the MEA and in Europe. In Europe, broadcasting carries a considerable weight in the industry, something that is less clear in MEA. These differences required caution on the part of the authorities.

In Europe the band corresponds to the second digital dividend. In the USA, 700 MHz frequencies correspond to the first Digital Dividend in the USA (1997-2008). In Region 3 (Asia-Pacific), the 700 MHz band corresponds to the first Digital Dividend.

At present, the 700 MHz band is still being used by digital television services in Europe (despite the WRC-12 allocation to IMT use). In some countries it is used by mobile services. It is being freed up for mobile broadband in many parts of the world.


Key milestones

It has been a long journey to freeing up 700 MHz frequencies.

In 2007, 108 MHz of spectrum (698-806 MHz) for mobile services in Region 3 were identified at WRC-07.

In 2008, the USA auctioned 700 MHz spectrum.

Four years later in 2012, WRC-12 agreed on allocation of 700 MHz to mobile services (except aeronautical mobile) as a co-primary use with broadcasting in Region 1.

As a kick-start to 700 MHz freeing up, the EC mandated CEPT in 2013 to develop harmonised technical conditions for the 700 MHz band in Europe.

In 2013 and 2014, some Middle Eastern, Asian and Latin American countries auctioned 700 MHz frequencies with spectrum to be freed up as from 2015.

During the year 2015, the first 700 MHz spectrum auctions took place in Europe.

­     In June 2015, more than 5 billion EUR were collected in auctions covering multiple frequencies (700, 900, 1800 and 1500 MHz). Bids for 60 MHz of spectrum in 700 MHz frequencies’ auctions alone reached 1 billion EUR (12 eurocents per MHz per 10 years).

­     In France, 700 MHz auctions which ended in November 2015 raised almost 2.8 billion EUR for 60 MHz on sale (35 eurocents per MHZ per 10 years), almost three times the amount reached in Germany. Finland and Sweden expect to auction 700 MHz spectrum before 2017 (respectively in January and April). The UK will make the 700 MHz available for mobile services by early 2022 and earlier if possible. In other European countries, the future of the 700 MHz is being considered.

During the year 2015, the first LTE-700 MHz commercial services were launched.

WRC-15 outcome for the 700 MHz band

The 700 MHz topic had raised an intense debate before the conference. Broadcasters tried to defend their positions while mobile operators wanted to attract additional spectrum.

As expected, the selection of the 700 MHz (694/698-790 MHz) band as an IMT band was decided at the WRC-15 within Region 1 and 16 countries in Region 3 (including Australia). Broadcasters succeeded in protecting their services with the WRC-15 promise of “full protection” for DTT services.

Harmonisation between regions in the world was at stake. Before the conference a number of band plan options had been considered, especially in Europe, while other countries aligned to the APT700 plan, a harmonised band plan for 698-806 MHz for Region 3 which was approved by ITU. The entire band, according to the APT plan, enables the use of 2x45 MHz for FDD operation. A TDD plan has also been defined.

Post-WRC-15 status of the 700 MHz band worldwide

Access the full report Key Outcomes from WRC-15 to get more background data, decisions on items and what will shape the WRC-19 and WRC-23.

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