The place to be in Europe, to understand upcoming disruptions and their impact on telecom, IT, Internet and media markets
From 17 to 19 November 2015, the 37th annual DigiWorld Summit will bring together 150 top-tier speakers to Montpellier to share their views with the more than 1,200 participants from over 30 countries. French Tech will also be in the spotlight during the 2nd annual DigiWorld Week and at the inaugural DigiWorld Awards.
Under the banner of “Digital First” IDATE will host debates on the core trends shaping telecom, IT, Internet and media markets, with the knowledge that digital technology is entering a new stage in its ubiquity, becoming the vehicle of a major overhaul in many sectors: energy, insurance, finance, health, automotive, travel and tourism… “But,” says IDATE CEO, Yves Gassot, “this digital verticalisation also represents a new challenge for IT, telecoms, Internet and media industry stakeholders. They may see new growth opportunities, but also challenges as innovation cycles are accelerating, as they consider the shifting outlines of their business and contend with new digital intermediaries.”
This new stage in the digital transformation is being spurred by ubiquitous wireline and wireless connectivity, the economies of scale of cloud computing, and the power of real time data processing algorithms. But it is being amplified by the rise of connected objects, and the promises of 3D printing, of artificial intelligence and the collaborative economy. A profound transformation of the economy that is already materialising in changes to production and distribution infrastructures, in the accelerated shift from product to service and the profusion of channels for interaction with end users.
• What do vertical companies (media groups and TV networks, insurance, automotive, travel, retail, etc.) want from digital industry players (telcos, OTT, IT)?
• How should digital industry players position themselves with respect to the digital transformation in vertical markets?
• How can the Web’s top destination platforms cohabitate with the vertical markets’ new digital champions?
• This year’s Guest Country: China. Can China combine the power of its recently acquired positions in Internet and telecom markets with its manufacturing ambitions?
2015 DigiWorld Summit Programme
Analysis and debates between veteran industry players and disruptive start-ups, with insights from IDATE’s finest economists and analysts:
Digital Europe, Digital World
In-depth seminars with the industry’s top expertsConnected Things Forum
Smart City Forum
TV & Video Distribution Forum
Future Digital Economy Forum
DigiWorld Week (14 – 22 November 2015): IDATE expands on the two days of the DigiWorld Summit, and plays host to an exciting event-filled week. Delving deeper into the issues and shaking up ideas: symposiums, workshops, hackathons, exhibitions, festivals, master classes, …
DigiWorld Awards: in partnership with Business France and French Tech, IDATE will be hosting the first annual DigiWorld Awards, recognising French digital start-ups (Equipment and devices, Networks and telecoms, Internet services and application, M2M and IoT…), created abroad. Awards will be in four categories: Africa and the Middle East – The Americas – Asia – Europe
The DigiWorld Summit, is organised under the patronage of the French Ministry of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, the Région Languedoc Roussillon and Montpellier Métropole, with the support of DigiWorld Institute member companies.
More informations about IDATE's expertise and events :
IoT : The Internet of Things
Connected objects were everywhere and IoT is now becoming the Internet of everything.
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 is also getting traction in the IoT space. In the “innovation city” hall (space dedicated to the connected objects), through the AT&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).
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.
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:
• Privacy concerns
• Effortless (ease of use)
Data 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
• 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.
More informations about IDATE's expertise and events :
Nouveau cycle de conférences de prospective numérique sur les enjeux de l’Internet, de la télévision et des télécoms à 2025
A l’occasion de la sortie de la nouvelle édition de son DigiWorld Yearbook, l’IDATE présente son nouveau cycle de conférences de prospective numérique sur les enjeux de l’Internet, de la télévision et des télécoms à 2025 !
A partir des analyses des experts de l’IDATE, les débats seront animés par Marjorie Paillon, Journaliste, Tech 24, Philippe Escande, Rédacteur en Chef, Le Monde et Gilles Babinet, avec les contributions exceptionnelles de :
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)
Source: IDATE for FTTH Council Europe
Number of FTTH/B homes passed per country in Europe (countries with more than a million homes passed)
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.
The 2014 digiworld summit "drawn from life" by Aurélie Bordenave, alias Léely. Discover all the strong moments. (texts are in french or in english)
Plenary: Business models, Rethinking the telcos business models in the 5G era
Keynote : Smart Glasses
Business models: Rethinking the telcos business models in the 5G era
Disruptive innovations: one step towards 5G
Smart City & Mobile living
Seminar "TV everywhere"
Seminar : "Business models: M2M & Internet of Things - Smarter objects, smarter processes"
Europe on the rebound ?
TV & facing Mobility
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 de Carlos Moreno, "La ville nous parle"
by Yves Gassot, CEO, IDATE & Didier Pouillot, Director of the Telecom Strategy Business Unit, IDATE
The 2014 DigiWorld Summit sessions devoted to telecoms gave off a certain serene, so as not to say optimistic vibe. Was it because of the huge numbers that each one trotted out, whether talking about mobile customer growth (over 9 billion users by the end of the decade), the exploding Internet of Things (80 billion connected things in 2020, according to IDATE), mobile traffic growth (triple that of wireline traffic) or the speeds expected from Advanced LTE (up to 100 times faster than 3G)...
5G needs to put Europe back on the map
So the watchwords for all of the speakers at this year’s Summit were erasing the past decade which, for a great many telcos, has been synonymous with shrinking revenue and margins in Europe’s five biggest markets (EU-5) since 2008, as underscored by Didier Pouillot, Head of IDATE’s Telecom Strategies Business Unit. Synonymous too with spending well below their counterparts in the US, and lagging behind in 4G rollouts, even though real progress has been made in terms of coverage. So the gauntlet has been thrown down: Europe needs to be back on the map, and amongst the world’s telecom hardware and service leaders by the time the 5G era rolls around, i.e. by around 2020, even if the South Koreans in 2018 and the Japanese in 2020 will be keen to show off their chops at the Winter and Summer Olympics, respectively.
From a technical standpoint, the race to superfast mobile appears to be well out of the gate. Frédéric Pujol, Head of IDATE’s Wireless Business Unit, listed the assets of LTE, which has now become a global standard, and how LTE Advanced will move things even further along with frequency aggregation, HetNets (Heterogeneous Networks) that will make it easier to manage small cells, optimised multicast protocols (especially important knowing that video is expected to account for more than 50% of traffic), eMBMS, etc. Although far from being standardised, 5G will take datarates higher still, delivering speeds in the Gigabit/s. But, as several speakers pointed out, the future will also mean multi-network access, taking into consideration the particular constraints surrounding the deployment of the Internet of Things, for instance, as not all objects are connected via cellular networks – but rather via NFC or low frequency radio networks, like the ones deployed by Sigfox.
What alternative wireless technologies can do… while waiting for 5G
There was a lot of talk about Wi-Fi in Montpellier. There was Silano Lo, CEO of Ruckus Wireless, one of Silicon Valley’s top equipment suppliers. She spoke in particular about the progress made by new generations of Wi-Fi, which will be fully integrated into telcos’ infrastructure, so subscribers will no longer have to login and enter a password. She also reminded us that Wi-Fi was a central part of
Comcast and other American cable companies’ strategies, both as way to secure customer loyalty and enter the wireless market. These strategies are also found in Europe, with companies like Liberty Global and BT, with Wi-Fi enabling wireline telcos to operate as MVNOs, combining homespots and hotspots, while minimising the amount of traffic being relayed over cellular infrastructure.
Speakers on the various panels offered nuanced answers to the question of whether high-speed and ultra high-speed mobile access will come to replace wireline access. All came together to emphasise that, in emerging economies, mobile broadband will be the main channel for Internet growth, even if Christophe Wilhelm, Senior VP Strategy & Innovation for Thales Alenia Space, did stress that satellite-based – both geostationary and in medium and low-earth orbit (MEO/LEO) – and unconventional solutions such as balloons and even drones, will also have a role to play.
The superfast revolution will require a stronger core
For Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, the debate is no longer about whether fixed or mobile systems will emerge triumphant: convergent infrastructures and ultra high-speed mobile will no longer be able to avoid public and private small cell architectures, pulling optical fibre closer and closer to user premises. For Mr Combes, the revolution is not confined to superfast access but, more fundamentally, will go by way of concepts such as SDN (Software Defined Network) and virtualisation with NFV (Network Function Virtualisation), which will give network operators access to control and command functionalities that ensure the networks’ reliability and security. If the smartphone has become the measuring stick of innovation for consumers, and the cloud revolution has begun, the network revolution that connects one to the other, is still to come.
Telcos on the offensive: working to change regulation and business models
Naturally, telecom carriers also talked about how to get back on their feet. Following through on what Michel Combes had to say, Telefónica’s Global Head of Public Strategies and Regulatory affairs, Carlos Lopez-Blanco, and Deputy CEO of Orange, Pierre Louette, want to see Europe deliver a strategic action plan in the very near future. More specifically, Carlos Lopez-Blanco shared his wishlist for the new Commission:
• more relaxed regulation that leaves greater leeway for commercial negotiations;
• increased harmonisation in the application of the regulatory framework, and emergence of a European regulator;
• a level playing field that puts an end to the asymmetry in the regulation imposed on telcos and the laissez-faire attitude towards the dominant positions enjoyed by OTT companies.
This last demand goes beyond sector-specific regulation, however. By the same token, how the ongoing consolidation in Europe plays out is largely in the hands of anti-trust authorities. But the representatives of Telefónica and Orange did not simply express their frustration with regulatory constraints. They also sketched the future of their business models, emphasising the promise they see in the development of 4G and mobile data traffic, in the cloud and M2M, along with the potential offered by partnerships with content providers and verticals, while not excluding the possibility of offering exclusive products and their own OTT services. This was an opportunity for them to make clear that their support of an open Internet must not relegate them to the status of dumb pipe.
To go further…
The presentations :
> Didier Pouillot, Director of the Telecom Strategy Business Unit, IDATE, « rethinking the telcos business model »
> Jaehyun YEO, Senior Researcher, KISDI, "Future Networks: Challenges & Opportunities"
> Ambroise Popper, VP/GM M2M BU, Sequans Communications, "Closing Keynote "
> Carlos LOPEZ, Telefónica, "Rethinking the Telcos business models in the age of 5G "
> Soline Olszanski, VP Strategy & Innovation, Hub One, "4G Critical and Professional"
Europe’s telecommunications sector is in a major state of flux these days, due to a combination of changes in Brussels and an acceleration in market consolidation deals.
• The formation of a new Commission in Brussels, and the introduction of Junker’s investment package, which could include funding for telecoms infrastructure, although no figures or details on the allocation scheme have yet been released.
• The particular way this new Commission’s Digital Single Market project team is being structured around a vice-president and a commissioner. Many have commented on the lack of cohesion between the statements issued thus far by Messrs Andrus Ansip and Günther Oettinger.
• Questions over Ms Kroes and the outgoing Parliament’s legacy. The Recent Council of Telecommunications Ministers demonstrated how hard it will be to stick to the agenda that focused on three issues: a) net neutrality b) roaming in Europe c) coordinating spectrum management policies. Despite being substantial, the revisions to the initial text proposed by the Italian president failed to achieve a consensus, and were rejected by operators and most members.
• The launch of a new review. The Commission will also need to establish a timetable to begin reviewing the directives as planned. The process will include a review of relevant market definitions, and will probably result in the proposal of an even shorter list of markets subject to ex ante analysis of SMP.
• By replacing “European single market for telecommunications” with the “Digital single market” in Europe, the Commission is also looking to highlight telecoms-adjacent legal provisions, such as those relating to privacy and intellectual property. In another vein, it also needs to back the OECD’s efforts to put an end to OTT companies’ abusive tax evasion practices, while its antitrust powers will need to rule on whether Google is abusing its dominant position. And coming up soon are the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations over new digital economy dossiers…
At the same time, we are tempted to say that real life goes on, and may even be accelerating
Europe’s telecom services markets are still in a slump, but many do seem to be getting back onto a more solid footing. The most striking trend is the rising M&A fever: after the finalisation of major deals in Germany (O2-Eplus) and in France (Altice/Numericable-SFR), we find out that BT, which had been displaying growing ambitions for several quarters (stepped up fibre rollout plan, combined with the launch of BT Sports and the acquisition of 4G frequencies) were also looking to take over O2 UK or EE. Hutchison (3), the smallest of Britain’s four mobile operators has said it would be willing to buy the operator that BT does not.
A veteran proponent of fixed-mobile convergence in the superfast era, Vodafone – which had already integrated Cable & Wireless in the UK, Kabel Deutschland in Germany and cableco Ono in Spain – has now set its sights on Liberty Global. Present in a dozen countries in Europe, the takeover of Liberty Global would give Vodafone majority control over Virgin Media in the UK, whose cable network covers close to 50% of British homes, full ownership of UPC-Ziggo which covers 75% of households in the Netherlands, and in its main market of Germany, control over the top two cable companies, covering close to 90% of the country’s households.
Of course, antitrust authorities will need to examine all of these deals, and may well impose certain “remedies”. We should also add that other (public) proposals are also underway, including: Orange’s bid to bolster its assets in Spain by taking control of Jazztel; Altice/Numericable’s acquisition of (the Portuguese-owned stake) in Portugal Telecom; and the possibility that Brazil’s Oi (with which the Portuguese incumbent had formed a joint venture) could merge with Telecom Italia, or its Brazilian subsidiary, TIM! Should these deals go through – or at least the major ones – they will tip the balance of power dramatically, which could well trigger another round of M&A deals in response.
Securing loans does not appear to be an issue, and the financial markets are apparently not put off by debt to EBITDA ratios of more than four or five to one. But analysts will be scrutinising the deals’ P/E multiples and the true outlook for synergies (or at least positive scale effects) being forecast for the future entities’ EBITDA.