13Jun/160

Smart home : a promising market in the long term

RAMAHANDRY_Tiana

Tiana Ramahandry
Senior Consultant, IDATE DigiWorld

This market is considered one of the most promising in the Internet of Things sector with a number of connected things could climb from 200 to 900 million between 2015 and 2025.

 

The concept of the smart home can be understood as home automation for the Internet era, but it is a concept that has not yet really caught on.

It encompasses all of the machines in the home that could potentially be connected to the Web. It also includes a wide array of applications, from consumer electronics to home appliances, by way of light bulbs and presence sensors. Today’s market is focused mainly on selling hardware with a built-in connectivity module and which can be controlled remotely using a mobile app. But it now also includes hubs, i.e. central systems that allow the different devices to talk to each other.

Many of the currently available products are connected to managing energy consumption and personal security, as consumers are more inclined to invest in solutions that allow them to lower their electrical bill and/or feel safer in their own home.

A large and heavily populated ecosystem

The digital home ecosystem is vast, populated by a multitude of players from a wide range of industries, including veteran CE and appliance manufacturers, along with power companies and players from the lighting and security industries. Samsung is particularly active in this market, especially since it acquired the start-up SmartThings in 2004. The South Korean giant is selling a complete smart home solution, including a hub to which both the manufacturers’ and its competitors’ equipment can be connected. Philips also has a solid presence in the smart home market thanks to its Hue line of smart bulbs.

The marketplace is also populated by newcomers such as pure players specialised in connected devices – marketing smart thermostats, light bulbs and security cameras. Telcos too have joined the fray, taking advantage
of their modems already deployed in customers’ homes to roll out new initiatives. The Internet giants are also on hand: Google through its acquisition of Nest, a start-up that specialises in smart thermostats, and Apple with its HomeKit smart home development platform.

An ecosystem awash with solution providers means that there are multiple communication protocols at work. The current battle for supremacy between standards is pitting a number of initiatives backed by industry giants against one another.

Adoption of the smart home raises severalquestions

This market, fl edgling as it is, is considered one of the most promising in the Internet of Things sector. IDATE estimates that the number of connected things could climb from 200 to 900 million between 2015 and 2025. Most of the market’s revenue today comes from hardware sales, whose prices are still too high compared to virtually identical products without smart capabilities. Several issues, then, need to be resolved before the market can really take off: the price of connected devices and appliances, privacy concerns raised by the use of personal data, a business model that needs clarifying (including monetising data) and the fragmentation of core technologies.

 

Discover the perspectives,  key trends, and scenarios about the Internet and Smart Living market  for the next decade through our dedicated report.

 Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with events and latest news.

 

29Jun/150

Digital First: ICT players vs. the new disrupters

DWS2015

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

 

Plenary sessions

Analysis and debates between veteran industry players and disruptive start-ups, with insights from IDATE’s finest economists and analysts:

Digital channels
A new chapter in the platform wars?

Digital Infrastructure
From ultra smart networks to predictive analytics?

Digital Product
From goods to services

Digital Regulation
OTT rules?

Digital Europe, Digital World
Closing session

Specialty forums

In-depth seminars with the industry’s top expertsConnected Things Forum

Smart City Forum

Future Networks

TV & Video Distribution Forum

Future Digital Economy Forum

Game Summit

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 :

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

17Jun/150

DigiWorld Yearbook 2015, the great digital shake-up

IDATE, Europe’s premier digital economy think tank, uncovers major disruptions in the telecom, Internet and TV markets

Over the past 15 years, IDATE’s DigiWorld Yearbook has become a vital source of information for industry players, delivering analysis of the developments that have shaped the telecoms, Internet and media markets during the year gone by, identifying core global trends and providing snapshots of what lies ahead. The purpose and scope of the Yearbook has expanded as digital technologies have become an increasingly central component in the different sectors’ transformation: connected cars, financial services, insurance, healthcare, retail sales, the collaborative economy…

IDATE Chairman, François Barrault, is delighted to be celebrating this 15th edition, noting that, “we have entered into a new stage in the digital transformation over the past few months. Today, new intermediaries are coming to shake up the status quo, many of them from outside the industry, taking advantage of new technologies and new consumer cultural behaviour to revolutionise the value chain. Everybody knows how Uber has disrupted the taxi business, and Airbnb the hotel market. But finance, insurance, health and automotive industry leaders have all had to sit up to the risk of digital innovations shaking up their ecosystem, and forcing them to depend on external, unavoidable platforms.” This echoes the central theme of the upcoming DigiWorld Summit (17 – 19 November 2015), as IDATE’s annual conference will be held this year under the banner of: “Digital First”.

“For we here at IDATE,” says CEO, Yves Gassot, “whose business it is to wade through the latest market developments on a daily basis, the process of looking back over the year’s events only confirmed the significance of certain game changers such as mobility, the cloud, the Internet of Things, big data and social media. Some would also add 3D printing and artificial intelligence to the list.”

Scorecard for the digital economy in 2015: back on a growth path, but Europe still lagging behind

After the recovery announced in 2013, DigiWorld markets confirmed a stronger rate of growth in 2014, generating 3,700 billion euros. All segments combined, growth increased to 4.4%, which is 0.5 points more than the year before. These figures are still below those being reported for the economy as a whole: global GDP rose by 5.9% in current value in 2014, compared to 5.3% in 2013. This global recovery will become stronger still in 2015, with DigiWorld markets generating 3,900 billion euros, and climbing to 4,400 billion in 2018.
• This improvement can of course be attributed to Internet services which continue to boast more than 20% annual growth and, despite still accounting for only a fraction of the market, are helping to sustain the whole (growing from 275 billion EUR in 2014 to 475 billion in 2018);
• But also to stronger performances from a large number of more traditional segments – which are typically bundled together as core DigiWorld markets, i.e. telecom and IT equipment and services, consumer electronics, TV services, etc. Growth in these markets, i.e. excluding Internet services, rose from 2.8% in 2013 to 3.2% in 2014.
• Europe as a whole continues to lag behind increasingly vigorous North American markets, and the powerhouse that is emerging Asian markets.

2025: snapshots of 10 key trends and three outlook scenarios for Internet, telecoms and TV markets

For the first time, this year’s edition includes outlook scenarios for Internet, telecom and TV markets and players, provided by IDATE’s teams:
• Internet 2025: Will the top platforms become even more powerful?
• Telecoms 2025: Can the top telcos strike a balance between becoming commodities and competing head on with the top OTT companies?
• TV 2025: How can distributors avoid being cut out of the loop?

About the DigiWorld Yearbook

The finest market insights from IDATE experts who track the changes at work in the globe’s telecom, Internet and media industries throughout the year.
The DigiWorld Yearbook is published in English and French and available in print and PDF format.

> The 2014 edition can be downloaded for free on www.idate.org

> The 2015 edition is available for purchase. Print: €100, incl. VAT; PDF: €69, incl. VAT on www.idate.org

For more information: www.idate.org/digiworldyearbook/

infog yearbook15-EN

30Apr/150

Platforms regulation

Yves Gassot

Yves Gassot
CEO, IDATE

 

Year after year, the economic and financial power of the GAFA  quartet of Internet platforms continues to increase. Which brings two questions back to the fore, again and again: what trends might emerge to counter this seemingly inexorable rise? And do we need regulations that apply specifically to platforms?

A quick reminder of what economists mean by platform economics (digital or not): multi-sided markets (i.e. involving interactions between two or more parties) with reciprocal “network effects”. So the more iPhones that Apple sells, for instance, the more attractive its app store becomes to developers (and so to users), and vice-versa. In digital sectors, this characteristic is typically combined with a reduction in fixed costs (software), generating increasing returns as the platform becomes more successful.

By 2025

Network effects usually go hand in hand with another property: asymmetrical prices. If Apple is starting to earn substantial income from the App Store, its business model and profits are rooted chiefly in the high price of its iPhones. With ad-funded models, one side of the market operates as a free service. As we have seen with Apple, digital platforms are a very efficient means of fostering open innovation, and capitalising on innovations from third parties. All of these aspects, which go some way to explaining why “winner takes all” when it comes to platforms, naturally need to rely on the ability to maintain the role of intermediary, and continue to become more proficient at it. Otherwise, the platform’s customers and suppliers will begin to adopt multiple homes, before eventually moving on to another, better platform. The efficiency of the leading platforms is the very reason for the current ambivalence over how much they are serving the greater good. On the one hand are concerns that a dominant OS will abuse its position while, on the other, this popularity can also mean an opportunity for developers, and can have positive repercussions for consumers.

The dichotomy needs to be resolved by taking account of the Internet’s dynamics as a whole. Windows has been through a number of anti-trust investigations but, today, this is the mobile Internet which has moved down the priority.

Worth reading on this topic is the recent IDATE report on "The future of the Internet: 2025". It takes a detailed look at the key technologies for the coming years, and especially at how development scenarios will be shaped by key variables, such as the openness of the Internet ecosystems, or the impact of restrictive privacy or security-related public policies. Here, we will add two other events that take us beyond a GAFA-centric environment. First, 2014 saw a number of Internet powerhouses emerge from the shadows of the GAFA quartet: in China (Alibaba, Weibo…) and in Asia’s leading markets in general (Rakuten, Line…).

We cannot entirely discount the possibility of these players gradually coming to compete head on with their Western peers. Second, we need to consider the position held by new players moving into vertical markets, many of which have carved out a place of sector-specific intermediary – Uber and Airbnb being two prime examples – and which have no intention of being taken over by Google or Apple or the like.

Nevertheless, faced with the realisation that GAFA continue to become increasingly powerful, the inefficiency of antitrust laws and the regulatory asymmetries compared to those imposed on other players along the chain, the idea of regulation that applies specifically to platforms is gradually coming to the fore. It may not be a good idea. Competition law, even ex post, is not necessarily ineffectual.

Privacy

Plus it will be no simple matter to define the contours of the platform sector. And extending existing sector-specific laws, such as those that apply to electronic communications, to make OTT companies and telcos subject to the same principles, would take us down a path where, as businesses become more and more digitised, every economic sector would be more or less governed by electronic communications laws. Keeping in mind that the upcoming review of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications is expected to focus on network access conditions and interconnection – and probably put more emphasis on symmetrical regulation. Should voice and SMS products not be removed from the scope of the telecom sector’s ex ante regulation, rather than adding in competing OTT products such as Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, etc.?

It nonetheless remains that in sensitive areas for digital industry players, such as those governing contract law, taxation, public safety and privacy, we can very easily identify laws that should apply across the board, such as what we find in consumer products and the retail industry. Without having to produce laws that are specific to platforms, the current juncture could provide an opportunity to merge national legal provisions with regional (EU) and global ones, and to ensure that they apply equally to all players along the value chain

For the publication of the last study about "the future Internet in 2025" and  the 15th edition of the DigiWorld Yearbook, IDATE is organizing a conference on the perspectives and key trends that will structure the digital economy for the next decade, DigiWorld Future

Register for the Conference in Paris the 16th of June     Discover the programme

More informations about IDATE's expertise and events :

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

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.

 

20Mar/150

Nouveau cycle de conférences de prospective numérique sur les enjeux de l’Internet, de la télévision et des télécoms à 2025

logo DWFuture generique 2015

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 !

La première session DigiWorld Future  se déroulera le 16 juin au Palais Brongniart, à Paris,  dans le cadre du Festival Futur en Seine en partenariat avec la Ville de Paris et Cap Digital.

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 :

sebastienbazin lowaxellelemaire lowMaurice Levy lowfrederic mazzella lowrichardstephaneOROUSSAT low

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

addcalendarbutton

26Apr/140

DTT in emerging countries : Can spectrum sales finance the digital transition?

Jacques Bajon

 

Jacques Bajon, Head of "Video Distribution" Practice

In developing countries and emerging economies, wireless broadband represents a fundamental path to eradicating the digital divide that exists in regions that are still not covered by wireline infrastructure, and especially sparsely populated rural areas.

The digital switchover of terrestrial networks and the associated digital dividend provide a unique opportunity for broadcasters to expand their services, for consumers to gain access to a broader selection of programming, for the market to meet the growing demand for new wireless communications services, and for governments to optimise the overall use that is made of the scarce resource that radio spectrum represents. All for the sake of socioeconomic progress. In developing countries and emerging economies, wireless broadband represents a fundamental path to eradicating the digital divide that exists in regions that are still not covered by wireline infrastructure, and especially sparsely populated rural areas.

Is integrated broadcast-broadband the answer?

Despite the existence of several international agreements, the transition process is not progressing at an even pace across the global. New arrivals to the process are up against tremendous challenges, while also benefitting from the experience of their predecessors and technological leaps forward – such as the combination of DVB-T2 and MPEG-4 – which help alleviate some of the hurdles. Key ingredients of successful planning include consideration of the national situation, along with clear policies and objectives from the government and real cooperation between the various stakeholders.
It is a well-known fact that the digital dividend is a driving force between the transition, but new questions have arisen recently over a second digital dividend in the 700 MHz band in Region 1 (i.e. Europe, Africa and the Middle East). So the telecommunications and media industries will need to cooperate more closely on the spectrum issue.

The digital transition: global scorecard

A global economic approach needs to be taken in the planning stage to tackle the goals of the transition, and the means being deployed to achieve them.
In developing countries where the switch to digital terrestrial television (DTT) has yet to begin, digital set-top boxes represent the biggest cost item. A large percentage of households in these countries will need to receive subsidies to be able to buy these new devices.
Additionally, the size of the network investment will depend on several factors, such as the number of multiplexes involved. By the same token, technical coverage will need to be adapted to each country according to the geographical distribution of its citizens, as costs can increase exponentially when seeking to cover a large swathe of the population.
Communication campaigns are also vital, to educate the public on the digital transition. They need to be rolled out gradually, and be especially concentrated during the period immediately prior to the transition from one technology to the next.
In addition to financing set-top boxes and running information campaigns promoting the transition to digital, public monies may be required to help TV channels during the transitional phase. The period of simulcasting will be one of additional broadcasting expenses that will not necessarily be compensated by revenue and, for incumbent channels, will also be a time of increased competition. Veteran broadcasters will have to upgrade all of their equipment and installations when the switchover occurs.
The revenue earned on the sale of licences to digital dividend spectrum can help meet the public financing needs created by the transition. It is vital that a global approach to the process be taken – one that involves both the television and telecoms universe. These two sectors can enter into a mutually beneficial virtuous circle.
Public-private partnerships to allocate digital dividend revenue to the transition
Governments need to be financially involved in DTT rollouts, and in the transition process as a whole. The economic surplus generated by a better allocation of frequencies and related services creates solid prospects for ROI in the medium term.
The digital switchover is thus an ideal opportunity to create public-private partnerships. The foundations are already in place, with the arrival of new private sector players from the world of both telecommunications and broadcasting.

13Sep/13Off

Are great shifts afoot in the telecom sector?

GASSOT Yves

 

Yves Gassot

CEO, IDATE

 

The warning signs are increasingly visible. And the fever could well take hold of the telecom sector. In Europe, the sector’s health is febrile to say the least: plummeting revenue, shrinking margins and tumbling share prices. These facts are no longer open to debate, nor is the massive impact that the economic crisis has had on telcos. Listening to market watchers’ opinions nonetheless reveals tremendous disparities in diagnoses.

Is this dire situation the result of a regulatory framework that imposed a state of competition too intense for the market to bear? No doubt, but we also need to remember that these same policies had long been seen as something Europe had done right, something that enabled the former monopolies to evolve, for new entrants to become profitable companies, and for consumers to enjoy the benefits (often more quickly than in other Western markets) of mobile telephony and high-speed internet.

It should also be said that regulation is not a summary of public policies, and that government actions – e.g. maximizing spectrum prices, the inherent ambiguities of State ownership, growing number of taxes, etc. – have their share of responsibility here too. Lastly, we should mention the already forgotten impact of the crisis that the telecom industry suffered soon after the internet bubble burst, of optimistic goodwill in company accounts, and the anesthetizing effect of financial markets which, by giving priority to debt reimbursement and then dividends, did not really encourage company heads to invest and prepare their business for the long term.

It should also be said that regulation is not a summary of public policies, and that government actions – e.g. maximizing spectrum prices, the inherent ambiguities of State ownership, growing number of taxes, etc. – have their share of responsibility here too. Lastly, we should mention the already forgotten impact of the crisis that the telecom industry suffered soon after the internet bubble burst, of optimistic goodwill in company accounts, and the anesthetizing effect of financial markets which, by giving priority to debt reimbursement and then dividends, did not really encourage company heads to invest and prepare their business for the long term.

One area where regulation, and public policies in general, have fallen short was in coming late to an awareness of the massive transformation that telcos were facing. Ultimately, the advantages that innovation would deliver to consumers – not to mention suppliers – in the medium term, should have counted for as much as demands for lower prices.

The Commission is testing out a few ideas that it wants to make concrete.

Using the single European market as its springboard. It is going back to what in the 1990s was presented as the counterbalance to market liberalisation. It is also responding to a European sector that is extremely splintered, compared to the concentration we find in other markets. So there’s the idea of a “passport” that would allow telcos to enter the different national markets without impediment, through a complex cooperation between national regulatory authorities. The ongoing pursuit of harmonized regulation and enabling pan-European strategies are not, in principle, to be rejected. They could be positive things for both telcos and their customers, and especially their enterprise customers. But given the state of most telcos’ accounts, and of national markets, we do not think this would solve the problem. In other words, if Deutsche Telekom is not present in Italy, it is not because of licensing problems (with the very real exception of frequencies which appear destined to remain under national control for some time to come), nor even because the terms and conditions set for accessing existing fixed and mobile infrastructure would be exorbitant. It is above all because of the difficulties the telco is suffering in the markets where it already does business (starting with Germany), and the problems that all companies operating in Italy are having to contend with. For the time being, we will not delve into the (at first glance tempting) bonus that the idea out of Brussels could generate, by virtually doing away with roaming charges within the EU.

So, what now?

During this current review of European directives, it would be wise to give the sector some breathing room by letting up on ex-ante regulation, in exchange for commitments to investing and by putting faith in ex-post actions. It also seems likely that, in the current environment, the course of trade will get the upper hand, and that anti-trust decisions will counterbalance the influence of the sector’s regulatory framework. We believe that a scenario of the very gradual diminishment of telecom markets’ and telcos’ power in Europe is no longer the most likely. Given mergers and acquisitions that are in the works, and others being spoken of, it is starting to look more like a race between European operators’ ability to rebuild their margins through a restructuring in national markets, and the huge appetite of operators from emerging regions and from the United States, whetted by plummeting share prices. If Europe is unable to organise the sector’s fixed-mobile consolidation on its own (either via mergers or infrastructure-sharing, firstly at national and later at pan-European level), outside forces will do the job for it. In which case we would lose what is still one of our major assets in our bid to tap into the massive opportunities embedded in the digital world.

2Jul/13Off

Next Gen Networks : reaching the DAE

CHAILLOU_ValérieValérie CHAILLOU

Head of Research, Telecoms Business Unit, IDATE


Deployment costs & access market revenue in Europe

The goals set by the European Commission for ultra-fast broadband (UFB) are ambitious. By 2020, they aim to provide all European households with ubiquitous coverage of 30 Mbps and 50% of households with 100 Mbps access.

Cost of NGN deployment for reaching the goals of the DAE

NGN deployments are underway in all countries of the European Union but are progressing at very different rates from one country to the other. Some governments have created national programs that lay down their own goals to try and accelerate deployments, through both private operators and public players. IDATE has published a report in which NGN deployment costs have been modeled according to various scenarios. We will look closely at three of these: the "Base Case" scenario, which considers a gradual evolution of current NGN access; the "Vectoring" scenario, which anticipates improvements in copper-based technologies to reach the speeds laid out by the DAE; and the "FTTH" scenario, in which FTTH/B would be deployed on a massive scale and would provide the most future-proof performance in terms of speed. This last scenario is itself analyzed according to two different options (90% or 100% FTTH coverage), which lead to significantly different costs. The cumulative costs of these scenarios between 2011 and 2020 range from 71 to 230 billion EUR.

Cost comparison of NGN deployment scenarios en Europe

Total cost and cost per capita for next gen networks deployment in Europe

Source: IDATE

Revenues tied to the UFB access market

In parallel, IDATE has also conducted a study to evaluate the value of the UFB access market. This study is based on a thorough analysis of UFB services offered by key players in markets that represent different degrees of UFB maturity. This analysis allows us to identify different types of delivery model that may include one or more goals (maintaining positioning, increasing ARPU, reducing churn, unbundling withdrawal, etc.). The commercial positioning of operators will thus match a given delivery type that will depend on the level of competition, in particular. From there, it is possible to determine what the trends will be in terms of UFB ARPU over the coming years and thus assess one of the two key variables of access revenue. The other variable is the number of UFB subscribers, which should continue to grow relatively steadily through 2020 if we take all technologies into account. According to our estimates, the UFB access market is expected to reach 48 billion EUR by 2020.

Costs vs. revenues: Which scenario should we prioritize?

Despite some very interesting revenue potential (combined revenues exceed the cost of the most expensive scenario by 2020), the FTTH scenario is not really feasible (regardless of the coverage option considered) because cable operators—whose infrastructures offer faster speeds, are less expensive to upgrade and offer very good performance—will continue to play a major role in this market. The Base Case scenario seems to be a more feasible option in that it represents a continuation of what currently exists, namely a combination of technologies and accelerating deployment. However, it also presents risks, particularly the possibility of slow migration of broadband subscribers to UFB. Whichever scenario is implemented, operators will still need to invest significantly in deployment while reserving some investment for generating demand, without which their expected revenues cannot be achieved.

This analysis is an extract from our FTTx market insight which we propose within our ongoing monitoring of the worldwide FTTx market.