10Apr/150

Mobile Gaming, 23 Milliards d’euros d’ici 2018 !

infog google vs apple 2018

Google versus Apple : les deux géants tirent le marché vers le haut et s’affrontent au travers de business models différents

 

L’économie des jeux sur les plateformes nomades est remarquablement efficace, et la concurrence qui s’exerce entre Apple et Google l’est tout autant.

L’App Store d’Apple et Google Play sont les deux principaux appstores du marché en volume d’applications disponibles et téléchargées.

On notera qu’en juillet 2014, ils comptabilisaient chacun plus de 1 million d’applications, loin devant Windows Phone Store, Amazon Appstore et Blackberry World. Aujourd’hui, ces deux appstores rassemblent à eux seuls  quasiment 80% des applications disponibles.

Les chiffres clés du marché mobile mondial à 2018

•    Le nombre de jeux mobiles dépasse de loin le nombre de jeux disponibles sur les autres plateformes de jeux,  offrant de nombreuses perspectives aux grands acteurs.

•    Le marché du jeu mobile s’élève à 12.8 milliards EUR en 2014. 72.6% de la valeur est générée par le jeu sur smartphone et atteindra vraisemblablement les 15 Milliards d’euros d’ici 2018

global mobile market generated by smartphone and tabletsDes modèles économiques innovants : Le free2play séduit de plus en plus de joueurs

Sur téléphone mobile, les 20 plus gros succès de l’année 2014 aux États-Unis sont des Free2Play. Ils étaient 18 en 2013.

•    Sur iTunes Store d’Apple, les jeux payants ne représentent plus que 8% du catalogue, contre 47% en 2012.

•    Le modèle Free2Play cohabite avec le modèle Pay-per-Download, mais le premier est bien plus répandu. Même les acteurs « historiques » du jeu vidéo investis dans le jeu nomade ou les « pure players » du jeu nomade ont passé le cap du Freemium, EA et Gameloft en tête.

Ce modèle a vocation à d’abord séduire le joueur avant de le faire payer. Une fois conquis, ce dernier paiera des objets virtuels en fonction de son attraction au jeu et de ses objectifs d’évolution à l’intérieur du jeu.

Pour retrouver toutes les informations concernant l’étude Mobile Gaming et les études associées, cliquez-ici

Plus d’informations sur l’expertises et les événements de l’IDATE sur :

www.idate.org          www.digiworldsummit.com          www.digiworldweek.com          www.gamesummit.pro

27Mar/150

Il décolle ! Le marché du Serious Gaming en forte progression pour atteindre les 12 milliards d’Euros d’ici 2018.

L’innovation est au coeur des préoccupations des entreprises qui développent des Serious Games. Elle porte sur des aspects technologiques (accessoires, terminaux, interfaces, réseaux, logiciel et cloud), sur les contenus (gameplay, graphisme, stratégie éditoriale), et également sur les services d’accès aux SG (conditions d’accès, add-on, modularité de la plateforme, fonctionnalité sociales).

Cette progression du marché offre donc des perspectives très prometteuses aux développeurs de Serious Gaming (SG) sur le territoire français, comme le confirment les cinq sociétés que l'IDATE a invitées à collaborer à ce rapport : Daesign ; KTM Advance ; Groupe Interaction ; Manzalab  et Dassault Systèmes.
Aussi, sur la période, on observe une croissance à deux chiffres à partir de 2015 et un pic de croissance sur 2016-2017. Ce pic correspond à un phénomène d’accélération de l’adoption du SG comme outil de formation et d’information par des PME. Aujourd’hui, ces dernières commencent à vouloir adopter ces outils vendus sur étagère.

 

La formation initiale et continue représentera plus de deux tiers du marché en 2018

Le segment de marché de la formation initiale et professionnelle représente le premier segment de marché du SG. Ce segment offre l’avantage d’avoir des modèles économiques compris et acceptés des commanditaires, de la production à façon à l’acquisition de licences utilisateurs.

Pour rappel, en 2014, ce segment représentait plus de 60% du marché global. Il gagnera 10 point jusqu’en 2018.

À l’image du marché mondial, le pic de croissance concernera davantage les années 2016-2017.

 

Ainsi, Dans les trois années à venir, le défi des acteurs offrant leurs services dans le SG sera de convaincre les entreprises de plus de 500 salariés, soit près de 2 700 en France. Les experts de l’IDATE  s’accordent à dire que ce défi pourra être relevé tant les preuves du concept ont été faites auprès des grands comptes nationaux. Il s’appuiera  donc sur différents facteurs clés de succès :

 

 

 

Pour retrouver toutes les informations concernant l’étude Serious Gaming et les études associées, cliquez-ici

Plus d’informations sur l’expertises et les événements de l’IDATE sur :

www.idate.org          www.digiworldsummit.com          www.digiworldweek.com          www.gamesummit.pro

24Mar/150

In 2015, the key words of the Mobile World Congress were 5G, IoT, virtualization and LTE-U : PART 2

image accroche article MWC part 2

IoT : The Internet of Things

Connected objects were everywhere and IoT is now becoming the Internet of everything.

Connected cars

Connected cars attracted a lot of attention with connected vehicles on most of equipment manufacturers’ and MNOs’ booths.
Renault’s CEO made a keynote where he presented the timetable for assisted driving. According to Mr. Carlos Ghosn, despite their numerous initiatives and some acquisition rumours, Internet giants are not rivals to car manufacturers but allies, as they consider electric cars and they help car makers to promote electric cars.
Ford had even its own booth presenting the electric vehicles (both passenger and entreprise cars) with dedicated solutions. In the meantime, Vodafone presented a Porsche Panamera model equipped with its new Telematics solution since the Cobra acquisition.

Smart home

Smart is also getting traction in the IoT space. In the “innovation city” hall (space dedicated to the connected objects), through the connectedhouseAT&T offering (Digital life) where the home could control through the smartphone and even through the connected car (equipped with an AT&T SIM card). When approaching the home, the car can trigger the opening of gate by itself for instance (pre-programmed distance).

connectedthingsWearables

Several watches and smart objects were also present on the different booths. Only AT&T provides cellular connected wearable on its booth, including the TIMEX and Samsung Gear S.

Alternative technologies

While 5G is already in the tracks, very low throughput network technologies are also under the spotlights. After the recent release of its 100 MEUR fundraising campaign among telecom operators, Sigfox was also on everyone’s lips at the MWC. Among the main new shareholders, Telefonica confirmed its strategic investment and its willingness to integrate the technology into its portfolio to address additional verticals and applications.

Alliances

The GMA (Global M2M Association) also announced a strategic collaboration with Gemalto and Ericsson to provide a Multi-Domestic Service based on a single SIM (using the eUICC technology) helping global enterprises (chiefly from the automotive and consumer electronics segments) capitalize on the growth of connected devices.

Growing market but still key challenges though

During his keynote, if AT&T Wireless CEO predicted that the smart phone will be the remote control of everything in the next few years, he also pointed out the key challenges to address in order to make the IoT market grow significantly:
•    Security
•    Privacy concerns
•    Effortless (ease of use)

Privacy

privacylogoData about devices and their users is generated in real-time, often by default and without the user being aware or having choice (especially for free apps). There is a need for a different approach to giving users transparency, choice and control over their data and privacy.

Generally user has a single choice : accept or not using the service, there should be gradual approach (like sharing some id attributes but not all of them).
Privacy could be a competitive stick for service providers, as users are becoming more aware of privacy.

Facebook in emerging countries

fbFacebook has launched Facebook zero in partnership with mobile operators (Millicom, Telenor, Airtel): data use is free for a limited period, and after that operators can charge data.

•    Airtel: “Operators and Facebook are like the beauty and the beast, but the beast (facebook) is becoming more human nowadays”.  Airtel was reluctant to introduce Facebook because of VoIP threat. Is looking at it like the “boiling milk”.
•    Millicom, Telenor: have seen ARPU rise thanks to facebook launching, very promising for them.
•    Wikipedia has the same approach of “Wikipedia zero”, dealing with operator to provide data access for free.

Financial inclusion

Banks, such as Master Card, provide a global and interoperable solutions. Those systems needs public-private partnerships. Hong Leong Islamic Bank Berhad has launched a solution in Malaysia.

More informations about IDATE's expertise and events :

www.idate.org      www.digiworldsummit.com      www.digiworldweek.com

23Mar/150

In 2015, the key words of the Mobile World Congress were 5G, IoT, virtualization and LTE-U : PART 1

MWC infog

As for each edition, IDATE has been Analyst partner of the Mobile World Congress. A fantastic opportunity for our analysts and experts to interview many professionals coming from their Mobile planet to Barcelona for this intense and tremendous week.

5G Concept

Even though the concept of 5G is still very much under discussion (videos from KT, Huawei presented during conferences), NGMN (next generation mobile networks) Alliance published its 5G white paper which can be seen as the mobile operators “wish list” for 5G. Nonetheless, 5G is scheduled for 2020. Early trials should arrive in 2018, with projects scheduled for the Winter Olympic games in South Korea (4G became real in 2010’s, 3G in 2000’s). Key advantages of 5G over 4G would be a much lower latency (1ms compared to 40 ms in 4G and 100 ms with 3G), the capacity to connect billions of devices, faster response that will boost services like augmented reality, self driving cars and online gaming. Huawei mentioned that 5G should reach 10 Gbps (7 minutes to download a movie with 4G, 6 s with 5G).

5G should better take into account specific requests of vertical markets (healthcare, automotive, energy, government, city management, manufacturing and public transportation) and better manage the Internet of Things.

Equipment suppliers showed first demos of 5G air interface using millimetric bands (70 GHz - Nokia) and 15 GHz (Ericsson). New air interface techniques were proposed by Huawei with the non-orthogonal access technology based on Sparse Code Multiple Access (SCMA), and Filtered-Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (F-OFDM).

With tvisuel principal idate MWC v2he 5GPPP (Public Private Partnership), Europe is trying to accelerate developments of 5G with fundings of €700 million for R&D. It is expected that the industry will invest five times this amount. According to the 5GPPP, 5G should be based upon a HetNet (heterogeneous network) supporting various radio access technologies and frequency bands ranging from sub-1 GHz bands to 100 GHz. Various traffic profiles will have to be supported:

 

•    Low speed-low energy for IoT sensors
•    High speeds for video services
•    Very low latency profile for mission critical services such as PPDR (Public Protection and Disaster Relief) and for transportation issues

Google will soon become a MVNO

Google confirmed during the MWC that the group is negotiating MVNO agreements with the US mobile operators. Light details on Google plans so far. Further information scheduled for months to come. Nova is not expected to compete directly against US MNOs. In addition, Google do not want to launch a network at scale.
The Google MVNO will only work with the Nexus6. “The focus of Google’s network could be on connecting devices other than phones, as watches, cars and other devices increasingly will include mobile connectivity features”.Mobile Identity

Different methods of identification and authentication, each suited to particular transaction types (from access to social network to official ID) ; biometric authentication as a new solution.
•    Digital identity card exists in Estonia (with digital authentication), biometric card exists in middle east and Africa (Algeria, South Africa)
•    Mobile authentication is a challenge for mobile operators, but the market is far from mass-market: demand is not ready for official ID authentication on mobile, standards are needed, as well as regulation.Mobile Id could be a leapfrog technology in emerging countries where people don’t even have identity papers, and have a mobile phone.
If mobile operators don’t manage to be positioned on this market, banks or social networks could.

Virtualization

PICTO VIRTUANetwork Function Virtualization (NFV) appeared last year during MWC and is now close to commercial implementation by mobile operators. Telefonica demonstrated a full network together with ALU and HP. It will integrate a vRAN, vCDN, vEPC and vIMS.
A first implementation of vRAN was presented by China Mobile which is collaborating with Alcatel-Lucent and Intel on Cloud-RAN, which is seen as a first step towards virtual RAN. NTT Docomo is working with NEC on virtualization of the core network (EPC).

LTE-U

LTELOGO2LTE-U technology is important and was present on many vendors’ booths. It will give free access to additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band currently used by Wifi. This will provide SDL (supplementary downlink) capability, providing extra capacity for downlink traffic, especially video. LBT (Listen Before Talk), the specific function which will allow smooth compatibility between Wifi and LTE in the 5 GHz band will be included in 3GPP Release 13 expected to be adopted in Q3 2016.
LTE and Wifi carriers can also be combined in order to provide higher throughputs but in that case, the benefits of LTE higher spectrum efficiency are not present.

 

27Feb/150

LTE trends

Frederic PUJOL
Radio Technologies & Spectrum Practice Manager - IDATE

IDATE announces 2.3 billion LTE subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2018, generating revenue of close to €700 billion

 

IDATE forecasts than more than 500 million LTE subscriptions worldwide, representing 7% of total SIM cards (Q4 2014):
- Top three countries for LTE subscriptions: USA, Japan, South Korea at end of 2013 and June 2014.
- China jumps into fourth place mid-2014, expected to rank second at end 2014.
- USA represented 45% of the total in 2013 and will account for 38% end 2014.

Total LTE revenues are expected to more than double in 2014. They tripled in 2013:
- IDATE expects 160 billion EUR in 2014, 11% of total mobile revenues.

Country leaders have now reached (or almost reached) nationwide LTE population coverage: Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and USA.

By the end of 2018 we forecast, overall, there will be more than two billion LTE subscriptions worldwide (2.3 billion) or 29% of total SIM cards.

In terms of technology, 2014 is the year of:
- LTE-LTE-Advanced features deployment, especially carrier aggregation (LTE-A launched in June 2013 by SK Telecom);
- VoLTE services introduction;
- First LTE broadcast deployment.

LTE subscription forecasts, 2014-2018 (million)

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Top 10 LTE markets by subscriber numbers (million, estimates in italics), mid-2014

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LTE coverage (% of the population, mid-2014)

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Source: IDATE, in World LTE market, December 2014

IDATE publishes a range of reports on the core issues surrounding mobile market technologies and services around the globe:

  • VoLTE
  • LTE USA
  • World Mobile Spectrum
  • New Frequency Band Spectrum
  • World LTE market
  • M2M
  • Wearables
  • Mobile Advertising
Filed under: LTE, Mobile No Comments
11Feb/150

Ultra-fast broadband 14.6 million FTTH/B subscribers in the EU at end 2014

CHAILLOU_Valérie
Valérie CHAILLOU Head of Research, Telecoms Business Unit, IDATE

Accelerated growth in FTTH/B coverage from incumbents and enhancement in competition from new entrants, even in mature markets

 

In 2014, the dynamism of European markets (EU-35) was impressive: the number of subscribers reported the highest growth since end 2010 (nearly 55% increase). In terms of coverage, the increase reached 43%. This dynamism is led by countries such as Spain, where players have clearly played an important role and finally overpassed their initial objectives. There were nearly 14.6 million FTTH/B subscribers and more than 59 million homes passed in the EU-35 at end 2014.

In Spain, the incumbent Telefonica has decided to accelerate its rollouts aiming at covering 10 million households at end year, compared to less than 4 million at end 2013. This impressive growth and associated commercial strategy had a concrete impact on the Spanish market where, during the year, there were nearly 800,000 new FTTH subscribers.

Another noteworthy country is Romania where the leading players have decided to change their strategy and finally deploy FTTH/B when they were firstly focused on FTTx/LAN architecture in previous years. Therefore, the number of subscribers has considerably increased taking into account a total churn from end users. Those countries are followed by France, Turkey and the Netherlands (where, respectively, 25%, 24% and 39% of FTTH/B subscribers are new 2014 subscribers).

Elsewhere, Sweden still devotes to be highlighted: the latest trend in the country is to focus more and more on the single-dwelling units market which was not the first target of players involved in FTTH/B. The demand is steadily increasing since 2013 and, even if more complex and costly to deploy, FTTH to single-dwelling units is becoming a commodity. This is even truer for local fibre network players, involved in local scale rollouts, which have devoted half of their investments in targeting single-dwelling units in 2014. The Swedish incumbent was also very active in 2014, with more than 300,000 new Homes Passed yoy and an increase of around 31% in terms of FTTH/B Broadband subscribers. Then, the competitive landscape is also moving thanks to the involvement of smaller players that have strong ambition and get involved by acquiring local fibre networks previously owned by municipalities. Such trend should help Sweden keep a leading position on the European FTTH/B market.
On other markets, FTTH/B subscriptions also increased significantly. A part from Spain, the most performing country in 2014, we can mention the Netherlands where the number of FTTH/B subscribers has increased by 65%. France, Portugal, Turkey and Switzerland have also shown steady growth, in line with the trend we had already noted in 2013, with between 32 and 79% growth rate in the subscribers basis.

In terms of players involved in FTTH/B projects, alternative carriers are still leading the way, representing a 45% of the total homes passed in EU35 at end 2014 (67% considering EU39, which shows the important role of those players in Russia and Ukraine!). Among them, we can note this year the interesting role of recently entered players in countries considered as mature such as in Sweden and the Netherlands. Most of those players are backed with investment funds that help them strengthen their FTTH/B strategies.

The number of local authorities launching FTTH/B rollout projects on their territory has decreased a little bit in 2014 but they still represent only 9% of homes passed in EU35. Few new projects have been concretely launched by local authorities noted during 2014. There are some interesting rollouts in France, still in the context of the national program for superfast broadband, but most of them are still in the very beginning of the process. They represent some 600,000 homes passed end 2014.
Then, of course, incumbents are important players in all European countries. They represent 46% of HP in EU35 at end 2014, +3% compared to 2013. Several incumbents have considerably accelerated their rollouts in 2014. As in 2013, the most dynamic is Telefonica in Spain, but with a much more impressive growth: from 1.7 new Homes Passed in 2013, Telefonica reached more than 6 million new Homes Passed in 2014. Then come Orange in France (+897,000 HP), TeliaSonera in Sweden (+416,000 HP), KPN/Reggefiber in the Netherlands (+312,000 HP) and Turk Telekom in Turkey (+300,000 HP). It is also very interested to note the quite recent involvement of Bezeq in Israel, which decided to upgrade its infrastructure to FTTB: more than 1 million homes are now passed with FTTB but no services are available yet on the network. The operator is still focused on providing VDSL2 based services to end users for the moment, but it is betting on the need for higher speed rates in the near future and it is preparing itself to be able to provide required solutions very rapidly.

Number of FTTH/B subscribers per country in Europe (countries with more than 200 K subscribers)

numberOfFTTHSubscribers-per-country-in-Europe

Source: IDATE for FTTH Council Europe

 

Number of FTTH/B homes passed per country in Europe (countries with more than a million homes passed)

Number-of-ftth-homes-per-country-in-europe

Source: IDATE for FTTH Council Europe

When enlarging the analysis to EU39, Russia and Ukraine are still very specific markets. Their respective demographic characteristics are so different from other countries that the comparison is not always very relevant. However, both markets are quite dynamic, with respectively +50 and +15% in terms of subscribers basis.
Regarding the technology deployed, Ethernet is still players’ first choice across the EU-39, and represented 66% of all FTTH/B rollouts at end 2014.
As concerns network architecture, most new deployments concerned FTTH which now represent 41% of homes passed at end 2014 (vs 34% one year ago). However, FTTB is still the favourite configuration as it allows them to avoid the issues that come with installing fibre on private property, and especially MDUs – i.e. having to negotiate with each property owner.

1 The term EU-35 refers to the EU-28 countries –Cyprus + Andorra, Iceland, Israel, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.
The EU-39 refers to the EU-35 + the four CIS Countries: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia.

>> Our study about FTTH/B are interresting you ? Go on our store.

5Jan/150

Le Digiworld Summit 2014 in drawings

ouverture DWS14

The 2014 digiworld summit "drawn from life" by Aurélie Bordenave, alias Léely. Discover all the strong moments. (texts are in french or in english)

 

 

 

 

Global introduction

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Plenary: Business models, Rethinking the telcos business models in the 5G era

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Keynote : Smart Glasses

 

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Business models: Rethinking the telcos business models in the 5G era

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Disruptive innovations: one step towards 5G

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Smart City & Mobile living

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Seminar "TV everywhere"

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Seminar : "Business models: M2M & Internet of Things - Smarter objects, smarter processes"

m2m-internet-of-things

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Business models: Narrowing the gap between explosive usage and limited ad revenues
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Europe on the rebound ?

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TV & facing Mobility

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>> Retrouvez tous les dessins d'Aurélie Bordenave durant le Digiworld Summit 2014 sur Flickr.

>> Découvrez le travail d'Aurélie Bordenave alias Léely sur son site.

 

5Jan/150

Digiworld Summit 2014 : the speakers’interviews – in french

ouverture DWS14

Le digiworld summit 2014 a réuni autour des questions de la mobilité près de 1 200 participants et 140 speakers du monde numérique. Les vidéos des moments forts de ces deux journées.

 

 

- L'interview de Laurent Solly, DG de Facebook France

- L'interview d'Eric Scherer, en charge de la prospective à France Télévisions"Social TV, l'internaute en ligne de lire "

- L'interview de Julien Villedieu, président du Syndicat national des jeux vidéos : "Le jeu vidéo en mobilité"

- L'interview de Carlos Moreno, "La ville nous parle"

- L'interview de Kévin Cloarec "Comment les objets connectés révolutionnent-ils notre quotidien"

Les vidéos sont signées Vincent Touati fondateur du site Convergence Numérique.
Retrouvez ici la playlist des vidéos de convergence Numérique pour le Digiword Summit 2014.

2Dec/140

The mobile has only just begun…We ain’t seen nothing yet!

François Barrault

François Barrault,President, IDATE
Opinion piece first published in Les Echos, 28 November 2014


Every, or almost every, European has one or several mobile phones. Most have a smartphone. Despite which, the mobile revolution has only just begun.

By the end of the decade, there will be more than 9 billion mobile users on the planet. Mobile traffic will be ten times what it is today, increasing at three times the rate of wireline traffic. Mobile and wireless (Wi-Fi) systems will be the top clients for optical fibre networks. Video will account for more than 50% of mobile traffic. In Africa, cellular networks and €50 smartphones will add hundreds of millions of new Internet users to the online population…

This will create several challenges for Europe. The first concerns our telecommunications industry, which has not been spared the vicissitudes of the latest developments. At least there was a possibility: 4G. A new, more powerful generation of mobile networks, capable of providing Internet applications with high quality access. Massive investments, but also an opportunity to differentiate oneself and break out of a somewhat frustrating competition model that tends to boil down just to price. In most European markets, in fact, and despite the advent of 4G, revenue continues to decline and margins are struggling to stabilise, which naturally undermines telcos’ investment capabilities. The impact of a reasonable consolidation on national markets is also needed put an end to this type of price war, while waiting for the emergence of a European market populated by somewhat more pan-European players. Let’s be optimistic: the first major M&A deals are about to be approved, and a new European Commission is almost in place. The adventure is only just beginning. We can also add that 4G is a universal standard, which is first for the industry, and that its future evolution (LTE Advanced) is already in the works, offering concrete improvements including even faster connections, while the first spectacular offerings from 5G will no doubt be upon us before the decade is out.

Europe’s telecom industry, which was a mobile market leader for some time, fell behind with 4G and is far from having caught up, if we compare its 4G status with that of South Korea or the United States. It would be a catastrophe for the situation to repeat itself with 5G. First, for our operators and consumers. But also for the telecommunications industry associated with it, and which continues to represent one of Europe’s far too rare digital assets thanks to companies such as Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Gemalto and Oberthur.

But there is a second challenge, as well. These 4G and 4G+ networks are the first to be all IP. They will accelerate the transition from a fixed to a mobile Internet that began with 3G and Wi-Fi. This is true in both emerging economies and our own markets. And for the Internet’s top players. Google was quick to see the need to invest in Android. Facebook’s message to market analysts over the past two years has focused chiefly on the growth of its mobile users. Amazon is investing in its own tablets to protect access to its e-commerce. Netflix and YouTube have understood that video was going to account for a major percentage of mobile traffic. And even Microsoft has adopted the slogan: “mobility first!”.

At the same time, we want to believe that the future is not written in stone. A very profound transformation of the Web has begun thanks to mobile: integration of location-based solutions, the intimacy of wearable technology (glasses, watches, clothing) that can act as our wallets, monitor our health and our environment (home, car, smart city) in real time… We have seen machine-to-machine (M2M) begin to really take off in recent months, and it already represents millions of connections. The Internet of Things is becoming a reality. All of these (still tiny) waves that are building up to the future mobile Internet will be combined with the power of cloud architectures, to constitute a no doubt majority share of the data-driven economy.

These two challenges are closely intertwined, even if each will also play out separately. It would be dangerous for Europeans to become complacent in their views, or to resign themselves to a schism between the network-based economy, which could be the victim of harsh sector-specific regulation, and the economy of OTT applications which must not enjoy the impunity of offshore companies. Lastly, in addition to technological feats, we need to recognise the tremendous importance of a third challenge: namely creating trust between the industry’s players and regulators, and between those two parties and the consumer.

François Barrault
Chairman of IDATE

These topics will be revisited at IDATE’s 36th annual DigiWorld Summit, next year in Montpellier. Stay in touch at: www.digiworldsummit.com

30Sep/140

Light operators: nearer the ‘medium-heavy’ point of the scale, rather than the virtually asset-less

PENNINGS Christoph
Christoph PENNINGS
Head of Regulation Practice, DigiWorld by IDATE

Maturing, and putting on weight

We have examined different aspects of the 'light operator' phenomenon. Light operators and their business model are heavily influenced by sector specific regulation. The purpose is also to provide an inventory of the different points of contact between the two. We also discuss the evolution of 'light' approaches in the mobile industry, exploring the different kinds of MVNO and the wholesale operator model. Regarding the fixed sector, we examine the opportunities for light operators arising from the use of next-generation access networks and delivers examples of light operators on open access networks. Finally, we take a brief look at other forms of light operator, such as Wi-Fi operators and over-the-top players providing voice and messaging services.

The future of ‘light operators’ is therefore probably nearer the ‘medium-heavy’ point of the scale, rather than the virtually asset-less.

Light operators have often been a catalyst for change

Light operators have had a tremendous impact on telecoms markets, but their traditional business models have not turned out to be very sustainable in the long run. Light operators have often been a catalyst for change (as with low-cost models, or niche segments) but have also often failed to reap the benefits of their innovations as network operators took back their power. Light operators pursuing a pure low-cost approach will find themselves squeezed between network operators' own low-cost sub-brands and abundant bundles as well as OTT's providing 'free' voice and messaging services.

Nevertheless, light operators continue to exist in their niches catering to the needs of well-identified market segments.
The rollout of new NGA and 4G networks creates a number new opportunities for light operators, too. However, open access networks are present in a limited number of markets only, such as the Netherlands and Sweden in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific region. Sector-specific regulation also plays an important role in the market and this will continue for the foreseeable future, creating business opportunities for asset-light business models.

Light operators and the MVNO phenomenon

Looking at the mobile market and certain open access players, it seems that ‘light operators’ investing in their ability to differentiate their services from their host operators are faring better than their resale-focused peers. Full MVNOs such as Telenet in Belgium or Virgin Mobile in France have become serious challengers in their respective markets. The same holds for fixed ISPs of the likes of Myrepublic or Bredband2. By investing in a limited infrastructure rather than being a pure reseller, they are able to propose a service with some unique characteristics without having to go to the effort of rolling out a full network. Asset-lighter bitstream models with a handover closer to the end user than in the case of a very light ISP but still staying short of the capillarity of an access network are certainly the safest bet for challengers in the fixed market.

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