Connected Cars & Future of the Mobile Ecosystem, interview with Thierry VIADIEU


"Connected Cars & Future of the Mobile Ecosystem"
DigiWorld Economic Journal n°105

Interview with Thierry VIADIEU
Program Director for Connected Car & Autonomous Driving, RENAULT

Conducted by Yves GASSOT, CEO, IDATE DigiWorld Institute

DW Economic Journal: Could you describe the scope of your responsibilities at Renault?


Thierry VIADIEU: As far as connected cars are concerned, the field of endeavour for the Product Planning and Programs department covers on-board systems (multimedia systems), offboard systems (servers) and connected services. For autonomous vehicles, it covers autonomy and the components that enable that autonomy (sensors, radars, cameras, LIDAR, etc.).
Our task is to ensure that what we want to deliver to our customers (as set out by the Product Engineering and Sales and Marketing departments) is properly expressed, then taken into account by those in charge of development. We give them the budget they need, and we ensure that the plan they put into effect lines up with their mandate. These projects are then contracted with the Vehicles Program departments which will adopt these developments and we commit to results.
Over the course of its lifespan, we ensure that the project is on track and make the necessary decisions when it deviates. Top management receives progress reports on a regular basis.

We often associate the notion of the self-driving car with that of the connected car, as the latter is a stage in and a prerequisite for making a car autonomous. But users are not terribly clear on exactly what services a connected car provides. What does Renault offer its customers in this regard? And which applications do you believe are the most promising for the next five years? Can you share any figures on your connected car output?

Autonomy and connectivity cover two different technical fields, and exist independently of one another. But of course the autonomous car will be highly connected.
The connected car has been around for some time. For instance, the traffic information given by navigation systems requires connectivity. Today, through its RLink systems, Renault offers a range of connected services: traffic information, Coyote, access to e-mail, access to a variety of apps from the app store, data for fleet management or pay-as-you-drive insurance contracts, opening car doors using a smartphone for car-sharing services (RAccess), and so on.
In a not too distant future, the range of services on offer will be very broad and cover different value fields such as monitoring the state of the vehicle (preventive maintenance), remote actions (setting the vehicle's inside temperature, opening the boot for deliveries), easy driving (booking parking spots, travel recommendations), mobility services (opening doors with a smartphone, multimodal solutions), personalised virtual assistant with connections to one's digital devices (links to calendars, appointment bookings, restaurant reservations, etc.). Depending on their needs, each customer will choose the services they find most useful.
The job of the autonomous car is to gradually relieve drivers of certain driving tasks, aiming to take a complete control of the vehicle. This will give drivers more time to do other things during their drive time, so an advanced connectivity solution will be absolutely vital to the offer of autonomy. This offer could go as far as the ability to work in one's car, and videoconference from the vehicle.

The ubiquity of the smartphone and the apps designed for the two main platforms, iOS and Android, is pushing car-makers to offer drivers the ability to replicate the familiar digital environment on their vehicle's display. At the same time, car-makers also want to protect the independence of their relationship with customers for certain services, such as maintenance. What are the services that the car manufacturer must deliver directly or indirectly, but independently from mobile application platforms?

A fluid relationship between the customer's smartphone and the car's multimedia system (which we call smartphone integration) is key to ensuring the digital continuity our customers demand. That being said, we need to keep in mind that – while awaiting the autonomous vehicle – the driver is still in the driver's seat, and any activity that might distract her/him and threaten her/his safety must be avoided. This is why certain apps are "replicated" in the multimedia system, and in a very strict fashion. So drivers will have access to a very limited number of their smartphone's features.
As to the relationship with the two digital giants, Google and Apple, it is clear that all car-makers have certain concerns over the ultimate consequences of smartphone integration. Some have taken the path of defining integration standards that allow them not to rely on those developed by Google and Apple, while others have even announced they would not be offering those applications.
At Renault we have chosen to offer CarPlay (Apple) and Android Auto because we think that's what our customers want. On the other hand, we are very careful about creating a balanced relationship and about the data being relayed, by ensuring that it in no way jeopardises our customers, or our business models.
To illustrate the merits of having a good relationship between the car-maker and an application, let's use the simple example of looking for a petrol station. An application that indicates all of the petrol stations in the vicinity is clearly useful when we are driving and need to fill up. However, its value increases tremendously if it can also gauge how full the tank is and tell us the best time and place (cost, mileage remaining) to fill up the tank.

The car dealership obviously has a very important role in selling vehicles and promoting the latest innovations, and in maintenance and customer relations. In what way do you take this into account? What is their role today, and how will it change in future?

Renault dealers play a key role in our relationship with customers, and in informing them about our products. We believe this will continue to be the case with connected services. Naturally this relationship is evolving as customers are getting more and more information from the internet, and are able to discover products online from home, but it is undeniable that physical contact with a product and an informed representative will remain an important ingredient in quality of service. As proof, I offer up the direction being taken by certain major internet companies, such as Amazon, which plan on opening up brick and mortar shops in major cities. In this respect, the density and proximity of the Renault network is a major asset that we will be sure to leverage.
We can also cite the initiative taken by a number of Renault dealerships which offer what we could call "RLink genius bar sessions" to give customers an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the system.

When we move into the autonomous car stage, we have to stress the impact of regulatory imperatives, of consumers' reactions – be they enthusiastic or disoriented – and the influence and role of the internet big five (GAFAM) and of new entrants: could you comment on these central issues and challenges ahead?

Regulation is a very important, so as not to say crucial aspect. Laws and regulations will need to evolve to allow extensive use of the autonomous car, and Renault is naturally involved in the discussions that are underway on the matter. It is a difficult exercise because, as with most car-makers, we sell our models in a great many locations around the globe, and there is still no overall regulatory framework that applies to autonomous cars.
On the matter of users, I think they have a tremendous ability to adapt, and when the services on offer are useful and have been carefully designed, there will be no obstacles to adopting them. On the contrary!
For us, the internet giants are certainly potential partners. As with all of our partners and suppliers, we look closely at what they can offer us, while also be vigilant about the skills and responsibilities we want to maintain or acquire. Today, they appear to be positioned solely in the driverless autonomous car, and we don't know if one day they will be direct competitors.

What are the most strategic technological developments that self-driving car vendors will need to master? What R&D and partnership (with its peers, and with electronics and IT companies) policies is Renault putting into place? Do you think that the costs associated with the connected/autonomous car will drive a period of consolidation in the automotive industry?

When it comes to the development of autonomous cars, the different sensors that become the car's "eyes and ears" naturally play a major role. They will evolve, be able to "see" farther and under any conditions (snow, rain, etc.), will be increasingly reliable and especially increasingly affordable so that all product ranges can benefit from them.
But if there is one area in which all automotive manufacturers, and of course the Renault-Nissan alliance, are investing massively, it is the development of the software that will manage all of the vehicles' sensors and systems. We need to develop the right algorithms, incorporate elements of artificial intelligence, ensure the robustness of zero-fault execution (the bugs that are such a familiar part of our daily lives are "forbidden" in an autonomous car, whose software needs to be as robust and reliable as the software that drives the most sensitive installations) and have a self-learning capacity that allows it to improve on an ongoing basis.
I believe this is the key to the development of the mass-produced autonomous car.
As to the impact on a consolidation of the automotive industry, this sector has already undergone considerable consolidation in recent years, creating several "titans" that produce more than 8 million vehicles a year, and I expect to see more close partnerships over certain technologies rather than corporate mergers.

The autonomous car will generate thousands of Gigabytes, often with stringent quality and latency requirements that will mean connectivity costs cannot be overlooked in vendors' business models. What are your views on this? Do you believe, like some, that your business model will include monetising some of the data generated? How much are you banking on the advent of 5G which is currently mobilising the telecoms industry?

Today, the cost of relaying data over the GSM network is a significant element in connected services' business model. The use of a SIM card that allows users to switch from operator to operator, or plans that allow them to pool or spread out their consumption are important factors in limiting the impact of this cost. As is monetising generated data. That being said, data traffic still carries a high price tag in some countries which creates an impediment to deploying services to all of our customers around the world.
Regarding 5G, naturally we are keeping a close watch over its development, but current projections indicate that coverage will still be very slim in 2020, so we cannot concentrate our developments for the next five years around 5G.
We often stress the time lapse between automotive industry cycles (four to five years) and digital innovation cycles. But if we take the example of the transition from LTE to 5G we see that, even in the digital world, not everything progresses as quickly as the latest version of WhatsApp or the rollout of the latest smartphone model…

The vision for the connected car, as for the self-driving car, needs to be part of a more wide-reaching thought process devoted to the different components of the digital transformation that is affecting mobility: the servicisation of car use, the influence of the first car-sharing platforms and ride services, how cities are changing, smart roads, etc. What initiatives are you taking with respect to these various trends, and how would you describe a car-marker 10 years from now?

As with most other car-makers, Renault is not focusing all of its attention or investments on the development of the car solely, even if it is autonomous and connected. Either directly or by having a stake in other ventures, we are interested in all aspects of innovation in what we call the mobile digital ecosystem (car sharing, car pooling, multimodality, peer-to-peer rental, etc.). It is also an opportunity to engage in discussions and run trials in large cities such as Lyon and Bordeaux where Renault is partnered with Bolloré.
Here, it is likely that the development of the autonomous car will run parallel to investments in outfitting roadways (smart roads and motorways), paving the way for new forms of mobility. One of the challenges will be managing the co-existence of classic cars and autonomous (possibly driverless) cars within a complex environment.
To answer your last question, I tend to believe that ten years from now the car-makers that remain – and of course the Renault-Nissan Alliance will be among them! – will be similar to car-makers today in many respects. We will undoubtedly see a shift in the value chain, and an expansion of car-makers' business into mobility products and closer ties with the digital world. But at the centre of all this is an object – the car – which is more and more technologically complex and subject to increasingly stringent regulations (security, emissions, CO2). This is what constitutes an automotive manufacturer's core business, and what I believe explains why there are virtually no new entrants to the sector.


Thierry VIADIEU. RENAULT Program Director for Connected Car (since 2012) and Autonomous Driving (since 2016). Graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Ingénieurs Electrotechniciens de Grenoble in 1985 and received a PhD in Material Science from the University of Grenoble in 1988. Entered RENAULT in 1988 as research engineer. Then RENAULT Powertrain Division from 1992 until 1999 working on programs and strategy. Moved to NISSAN Headquarter in 1999 after the signature of the Alliance, starting in Manufacturing Strategy. Moved to NISSAN Corporate Planning in 2003 as General Manager and became NISSAN Corporate Vice President in 2005. In 2006, moved to NISSAN Thailand as ASEAN VP. In 2009 became RENAULT-NISSAN b.v. Director for Alliance Powertrain Planning.


La régulation des plateformes

Yves Gassot

Yves Gassot


Années après années, on voit globalement se renforcer la puissance économique et financière des grandes plateformes de l’Internet (GAFA). Dans cette situation, deux questions reviennent avec insistance : quels peuvent être les scénarios d’une contre-tendance ? Faut-il mettre en place une régulation sectorielle appliquée aux plateformes ?

On rappellera schématiquement les caractéristiques particulières que les économistes voient dans l’économie des plateformes (numériques ou non) : une intermédiation entre deux ou plusieurs acteurs d’un marché ("multi-sided market") avec des "effets de réseau" : plus Apple a du succès dans la vente de ses iPhones, plus il renforce son pouvoir d’attraction vis-à-vis des développeurs pour enrichir sa plateforme App Store (et réciproquement). Dans le secteur du numérique, cette caractéristique se combine généralement avec celles d’une économie de coûts (logiciels) fixes dégageant des rendements croissants au fur et à mesure du succès de la plateforme. Les effets de réseau s’accompagnent le plus souvent d’une autre propriété : l’asymétrie tarifaire. Si Apple commence à tirer des revenus substantiels des recettes des applications de l’App Store, son modèle économique et ses profits reposent avant tout sur le prix élevé de ses smartphones. Dans les modèles financés par la publicité, une face du marché fonctionne comme un service "gratuit".

Horizon 2025

Les plateformes numériques sont aussi, comme nous l’avons vu avec Apple, une façon très efficace de faire de l’"open innovation" en captant le potentiel d’innovation des tiers. Toutes ces caractéristiques, qui expliquent pour partie le "winner takes all", doivent se fonder naturellement sur la capacité à conserver et à faire progresser l’efficacité de l’intermédiation, sinon les clients/fournisseurs de la plateforme seront en situation de multi-homing avant de migrer sur une autre plateforme, plus performante.

On trouve dans l’efficacité des plateformes devenues dominantes, la raison de l’ambivalence des raisonnements sur l’intérêt général. D’un côté un OS dominant fait craindre qu’il abuse de sa position, de l’autre il peut être défendu comme une opportunité pour les développeurs et un élément plutôt favorable pour le consommateur.

On doit raisonner en prenant en compte la dynamique générale de l’Internet. Windows a connu les enquêtes de l’antitrust, mais c’est aujourd’hui l’Internet mobile qui relativise sa position dominante.

On pourra se reporter utilement à l’étude récemment publiée par l’IDATE (découvrir les dernières études), "le futur de l’Internet à l’horizon 2025". Y sont détaillés les technologies clés des prochaines années et surtout les différents scénarios autour des variables clés, telles que le degré d’ouverture de l’écosystème Internet ou les dispositions contraignantes prises par la puissance publique au titre de la sécurité ou de la privacy. On ajoutera deux autres actualités pour sortir d’un schéma figé définitivement autour des GAFA. D’abord, l’année 2014 a fait sortir de l’ombre les puissances Internet qui se sont développées à l’écart des GAFA, en Chine (Alibaba, Weibo…) et plus généralement sur les grands marchés asiatiques (Rakuten, Line…).

On ne peut totalement écarter l’idée que ces acteurs puissent entrer progressivement en concurrence frontale avec leurs pairs occidentaux. D’autre part, il faut désormais compter avec l’irruption de nouveaux acteurs sur des verticaux qui, le plus souvent, se sont aussi positionnés comme des plateformes d’intermédiation sectorielles (Uber, AirBnB…) et qui n’ont pas l’intention de se faire racheter par les membres des GAFA.

Néanmoins, face à la perception du renforcement continu des membres des GAFA, de l’inefficacité du droit antitrust ou encore des asymétries réglementaires constatées avec les autres acteurs de la chaîne de valeur, l’idée se développe de concevoir une régulation sectorielle appliquée aux plateformes. Cela n’est peut-être pas une bonne idée. Le droit de la concurrence, même ex post, n’est pas condamné à l’inefficacité.

Droit et Privacy

D’autre part, la définition des frontières d’un tel droit sectoriel risque d’être hasardeuse. Et l’extension d’un droit sectoriel tel que celui des télécommunications, pour mieux respecter des principes homogènes entre telcos et OTT, nous engagerait dans un engrenage où, au fur et à mesure de la numérisation des activités, l’on verrait l’ensemble des secteurs économiques plus ou moins régis par le droit des télécommunications. D’autant que la prochaine révision du droit communautaire des télécommunications devrait plutôt le focaliser sur les conditions d’accès aux réseaux et sur les interconnexions (et donner probablement un rôle croissant au droit symétrique). Les services de la voix et les SMS ne devraient-ils pas sortir du périmètre de la régulation ex ante du secteur des télécommunications plutôt que de vouloir y faire entrer les services concurrents des OTT (Skype, Viber, WhatsApp…) ?

Il reste que, dans des domaines sensibles pour les acteurs du numérique tels que ceux qui régissent le droit des contrats, la fiscalité, la sécurité publique ou la privacy, on peut très bien identifier des droits "horizontaux", à l’instar de ceux qui existent dans les domaines de la consommation et du commerce. Sans produire un droit spécifique pour les plateformes, ce serait une occasion de rapprocher les dispositions juridiques nationales au plan régional (Union européenne) et mondial, et de s’assurer qu’elles s’imposent de façon homogène à l’ensemble des acteurs de la chaîne de valeur.

A l’occasion de la publication de la nouvelle étude « le futur de l'Internet à 2025 » et de la sortie de l’édition 2015 du DigiWorld Yearbook ,  le DigiWorld Institute vous propose de découvrir le nouveau grand débat de prospective DigiWorld Future

S’inscrire à la conférence du 16 juin à Paris                               découvrir le programme

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


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.


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).


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.



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














L’édito d’Yves Gassot

Yves Gassot

Directeur Général, IDATE

Télécoms : Grandes manoeuvres en France et en Europe

Vivendi a donc choisi d'entrer en négociations exclusives avec l'actionnaire principal du câblo-opérateur Numericable pour céder le contrôle de SFR (deuxième opérateur mobile et troisième opérateur d'accès Internet en France). Une opération qui ferait d'entrée descendre la part de Vivendi dans le nouvel opérateur à 32 % avec des garanties de sortie. Cette option a été préférée à celle proposée par Bouygues Telecom (troisième opérateur mobile et quatrième opérateur Internet), qui aurait conduit à constituer le premier opérateur mobile du pays (près de 50 % des usagers mobiles). Bouygues Telecom avait pourtant anticipé les difficultés à faire accepter cette consolidation dans les mobiles par l'Autorité de la concurrence en négociant un accord de cession de son réseau de 15 000 stations radio au quatrième opérateur mobile, Free (12 % des usagers).

Il est possible que le choix de Vivendi soit celui du désengagement le plus rapide de SFR. L'IDATE compte depuis de nombreuses années SFR et Bouygues Telecom parmi ses membres et n'a pas été associé aux négociations. Aussi nous nous garderons d'aller plus loin dans les commentaires.
Trois commentaires plus généraux peuvent cependant être faits :

• La "guerre des télécoms" qui s'est installée en France ces dernières semaines ne renvoie pas à une phase de jeu de Monopoly ou de mécano industriel. Tout au moins, elle s'inscrit dans un contexte plus large de dégradation sérieuse de l'économie du secteur.

Et malheureusement cette situation, caractérisée par une importante chute des revenus qui pèse sur les marges, le taux d'endettement (à travers le ratio dette/EBITDA) et l'investissement, est générale sur les principaux marchés de l'Union européenne : d'après l'IDATE, les revenus finaux des services télécoms sur les cinq principaux marchés européens ont fondu de 12 % en cinq ans. Si la France a retenu l'attention des analystes ces derniers jours, on attend depuis plusieurs mois les décisions de la DG Competition sur la cession d'O2 à Hutchison Whanpoa en Irlande, et surtout sur celle qui conduirait à la fusion sous le contrôle de Telefónica de 02 et E-Plus (KPN) en Allemagne, premier marché de l'Union.

• La consolidation, qui paraît inéluctable, peut prendre plusieurs formes. Devant les réticences des Autorités antitrust à voir diminuer le nombre des acteurs en concurrence, elle peut s'exprimer à travers des accords de partage d'infrastructures. Pour les mobiles et dans certains pays, ces accords sont anciens et peuvent être très nombreux. On observera qu'ils permettent d'envisager une baisse des charges (CapEx et OpEx) mais ne suppriment pas de compétiteurs. En ce sens, dans une situation de guerre des prix, ils conduisent plus à rendre tolérable la poursuite de la chute des ARPU qu'à stabiliser/reconstituer les marges…

La consolidation a donc tendance en Europe à se focaliser sur la suppression des configurations à quatre opérateurs mobiles (au profit de trois plus les MVNO) telles qu'elles découlent de la vingtaine de licences supplémentaires (même si beaucoup ont disparu ou ne se sont jamais matérialisées) que les pouvoirs publics ont attribuées depuis la 3G-UMTS au niveau européen. Les négociations entre Vivendi/SFR et Numericable illustrent cependant une autre forme de consolidation : fixe-mobile. Celle-ci trouve son fondement à la fois dans le potentiel des offres commerciales de type bundles quadruple play et dans l'imbrication croissante des infrastructures filaires et sans fil à l'heure des small cells et du haut débit mobile. On a vu ainsi récemment le champion européen des mobiles, Vodafone, acquérir Cable & Wireless puis débourser plus de 7 milliards EUR pour Kabel Deutschland.

On ajoutera que cette opération ainsi que celles récentes de Liberty (Virgin Media et Ziggo) ont contribué à faire monter le prix des actifs du câble, ce dont ont su profiter Altice et Numericable, et probablement demain Ono en Espagne. Si le crédit bancaire ne semble pas manquer pour ces opérations, il n'est pas sûr qu'il soit au rendez-vous d'un troisième type de consolidation, les opérations "cross-border" au sein de l'Union européenne. Les synergies sont moins évidentes et la consolidation nationale parait être un préalable avant que les marchés financiers ne soutiennent des stratégies offensives conduisant à l'émergence d'opérateurs vraiment paneuropéens. Le risque étant qu'en retardant les consolidations nationales, la consolidation européenne soit le fait d'acteurs extérieurs.

• Enfin, faut-il choisir entre la santé des opérateurs et l'intérêt des consommateurs ? C'est un peu caricatural. Sans doute faut-il s'assurer que la reconstitution des marges ne se traduit pas par des hausses déraisonnables confortées par des ententes ! Mais d'une part les autorités réglementaires sont en place et expérimentées. D'autre part, les progrès techniques sont tels dans cette industrie que des marges favorables aux investissements efficaces et au renouvellement des équipements constituent les conditions de fond d'une baisse des prix unitaires et de l'amélioration de la qualité.


Cutting the Cord: Common Trends Across the Atlantic

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 92, 4th Quarter 2013

Joint Interview between Gilles FONTAINE, IDATE and Eli NOAM, Columbia Business School

Summary of this issue: "Video cord-cutting" refers to the process of switching from traditional cable, IPTV, or a satellite video subscription to video services accessed through a broadband connection, so called over-the-top (OTT) video. The impact of cord cutting will probably differ among countries, depending on the level of roll-out of digital cable, fibre optic networks, and/or IPTV, on the tariffs of legacy video services, on the quality of broadband access and on national players’ strategies.
Regulation will play a key role in this new environment, as a strict enforcement of net neutrality could prevent network operators from leveraging their access to customer base to market their own video services.

Columbia Business School, 
New York, USA

 Joint interview with

 Montpellier, France
 Eli NOAM, Columbia Business School
 New York, USA

C&S: How would you define cord-cutting, from a US or European perspective?

Gilles FONTAINE: Cord-cutting, in Europe, is seen mainly as a USA phenomenon, where consumers would trade-off their pay-TV subscription for over-the-top Internet services. The last years, in Europe, have rather seen the rise of powerful cable and IMPTV operators competing in the pay-TV market with legacy satellite packager.

Eli NOAM: Cord-cutting is the dropping, by consumers, of expensive cable TV subscriptions in favor of online access to TV programs and on-demand films. Drawbacks for consumers are less certain quality (bandwidth), less availability of live programming such as sports, and absence of some channels. Advantages are cost-saving, no need to pay for undesired channels, better search, less advertising, greater choice, more control. In a broader sense, cord-cutting is a transition of TV from a broadcast/cable push model to an individualized pull model. So this is not just about switching to yet another delivery platform. That's the easy part. It is much more fundamental. Looking ahead, one change will be that by going online, TV will move from a slow-moving, highly standardized technology controlled by broadcasters and consumer electronic firms to a system where multiple technical approaches compete with each other and propel video delivery into an internet-rate of change and innovation. And that's just the technology. Equally important changes will take place on the content level, and in the structure of the media industry, in the advertising and business models, and in the policy.

Do you see any evidence that cord-cutting is really happening?

Gilles FONTAINE: Cord-cutting, in Europe, is not happening, or is not happening yet. Several reasons account for this: on the one hand competition is intense in Europe between networks, and is driving Internet access and television prices down, therefore limiting the incentive to "cut the cord". On the other hand, Internet services are far from having the same level of offer as US ones, even if catch-up television is increasingly available throughout Europe. Also, the video-on-demand market is very fragmented, with still limited catalogues and interfaces that could be improved and subscription video on demand is nascent, and mostly pushed by US-bases players, even if some European players have launched first services. Finally, the penetration of connected TVs and connected set-top-boxes is probably also lower in Europe than in the USA.

Eli NOAM: In the short run, there is less cord-cutting than media reports and hype suggest. For a variety of reasons, almost all participants in the media industry have an interest in dramatizing the issue. Broadcasters are making investments in ‘second screen' distribution, partly to be prepared for change, and need to justify them. ISPs are expanding bandwidth to position themselves as providers of mass entertainment options. Telecom companies, similarly, need to upgrade their networks. New providers of bypass service to broadcast and cable, such as Aereo in the US, create buzz to their market-disruptive activities. Media cloud providers such as Amazon or Netflix present new options. And even cable TV operators, who are the ones negatively affected, have an interest in presenting the problem as a crisis, at least to policy makers, in order to gain regulatory relief.

The reality is more modest, at least in the short term, but not insignificant. According to a credible analyst, Craig Moffett, The "pay TV sector" – cable, DBS, and IPTV – lost 316,000 subscribers in a 12 month period mid-2012- mid-2013. Since IPTV has gained subscribers, cable losses must have been larger. That is a loss of about 0.3%. Another estimate for 2012 has the number at 1.08 million. In a 4-year period 2008-2011, anywhere between 3.65 and 4.75 million subscribers were lost. But that was in the midst of the Great Recession, and thus not all can be attributed to cord-cutting.

Do OTT services really challenge telcos and cablecos managed TV and video offers?

Gilles FONTAINE: Many studies seem to show that OTT services propose a better customer experience than the equivalent launched by the telcos or the cablecos. OTT services are Internet natives, customer friendly companies, with a rhythm of innovation that is difficult to compete with. Telcos and cablecos still concentrate on the "linear television model", even if they have developed their own on-demand offers, whereas OTT services specialize in on-demand services. But telcos and cablecos still benefit from a privileged access to the TV set through their TV set-top-box, a competitive advantage which is about to be undermined by low cost solutions to connect the TV set, such as Chromecast from Google.

Eli NOAM: Overall, the extent of video streaming has been quite large. In the evening hours, about two-thirds of internet traffic are video-bits. Netflix alone has added 630,000 streaming subscribers in the US in 3 months in 2013, to a total of 30 million. Thus, while the numbers of cord cutters is not huge yet, as mentioned, a steady loss of subscriptions is to be expected, and it is backed up by surveys in which cable subscribers grumble about staying with expensive subscriptions which they do not fully utilize. This is particularly true for the younger generation. 34% of the Millenials (cohorts born 1980-2000) say that they watch mainly online video and not broadcast TV. For Gen X and for Boomers the numbers drop to 20% and 10%.

With OTT available, the traditional business model of cable companies unravels. In the past, they were able to raise prices and to pass on the raises by channel providers. This becomes more difficult. Similarly, it becomes more difficult to offer only bundled channels ("prix fixe"). Similarly, the ability of channel providers to offer content to viewers directly reduces their bargaining strength considerably. If they want to keep up, they also need to develop expertise in online technology, social networking, and mobile communications.

UK cableco Virgin Media and Sweden cableco recently signed a distribution agreement with Netflix. Do you foresee any revision of the cablecos and telcos triple-play model?

Gilles FONTAINE: Building an IPTV service is not straightforward for a telco: network costs can be high to ensure a homogeneous quality of service. They also face high programming costs and the complexity of negotiating with the media world. On-demand services hardly prove to be profitable, because of the market power of Hollywood studios combined with the strong competition between telcos and cablecos, has for instance led to almost unrecoupable minimal fees to access programs. The situation can be similar for a cableco that would not have the resources to acquire exclusive, attractive content: the recent deal between Virgin Media or Com Hem and Netflix heralds a change of strategy for the smaller telcos and clablecos, which could favor to comfort their Internet access business by offering the best OTT services rather than pushing their own television packages.

Eli NOAM: Overcoming all of these challenges is possible but requires an acceleration of internal processes, major investments, and a willingness to give up some control. There are signs of change in that direction. Comcast, which has just paid $ 39 billion for NBC Universal, thus gaining vertical control from the camera lense to the eyeball, has now announced a trial of a cord-cutting offer to subscribers: if they take a Comcast broadband service (of a quality that is today an upgrade for most customers) they get at basically no additional charge HBO Go (HBO's archive of self-produced shows plus current other shows, available anywhere in the US from most devices), plus the free broadcast channels. The regular monthly price $ 70/ month, compared to a price of $ 135 for a full complement of 200 channels including HBO Go. So the viewer willing to skip regular cable channels saves a lot of money. The data cap for such a service is 300 Gigabytes. This is about 120 hours of HD viewing per month, which is adequate for single viewer but tight for a multi-device, multi-viewer household.

So this shows that cable companies are considering to embrace cord-cutting as an inevitablity. Another development in that direction is the US cable industry's considering to integrate Netflix into its operations. They are holding talks with Netflix to make Netflix an option on their set-top boxes. In such a scenario, Netflix would, in effect, become cable companies' major VOD provider and revenues would be shared. This, together with the cable MSO's own cord-cutting option, would in effect accelerate cord-cutting. However, cable companies would not be entirely bypassed. They would mitigate cord-cutting into channel cutting. Ultimately, cable companies' main asset is their transmission network. Its exploitation will undergo transformation.

TV channels also face another form of cord-cutting, as viewers may directly choose their on-demand programs. How do you see their future role, if any?

Gilles FONTAINE: TV channels, as aggregators, may lose their specific role if on-demand consumption develops significantly. However, they will evolve proposing more and more live events to continue gathering strong audiences at the same time. Moreover, there is still a need of arranging the on-demand catalogues, pushing the right content to the right viewer at the right time and on the right device. TV channels should be able to leverage their linear programming to play their aggregator role in an on-demand market. But they will need to heavily invest in IT and review their trade-off between linear and on-demand distribution.

Eli NOAM: TV channels gain and lose. They gain in bargaining power over cable and other distributors. They can deal directly with users, though more likely they will go through new types of intermediaries such as Apple and Amazon.com. In a profusion of content offerings, strong brands are a valuable way for users to search for content. And if they can identify users or user characteristics they can fine-tune and individualize advertising. The danger for channel providers is that the loss of cable MSOs hold over viewers means that they cannot share in the MSOs pricing power. Furthermore, content providers can disintermediate them by going directly to viewers. Sports leagues, for example, could deliver their events directly and cut out the networks. Most of the channels do not have major operational IT expertise, and this provides an opening for an entire industry of new service providers and video clouds.

Gilles FONTAINE's Biography

Gilles FONTAINE is IDATE's Deputy CEO and is also in charge of IDATE Business Unit dedicated to media and digital content. During its 20 years experience in the Media sector, Gilles Fontaine has become an expert of the media economics and of the impact of Internet on content. He directed numerous studies for both public and private clients, including the EC, governments and local authorities, telcos and TV channels. Recent assignments have included a participation in the future MEDIA programme ex-ante assessment, the analysis of new video internet services economics, a long term forecast project on the future of television. He has also monitored the impact of digitization and online distribution on other media, radio, press and music. Mr. Fontaine holds a degree from the highly reputed French business school, HEC (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, 1983) and from the Institut MultiMédias (1984).


Eli NOAM's Biography

Eli NOAM has been Professor of Economics and Finance at the Columbia Business School since 1976. In 1990, after having served for three years as Commissioner with the New York State Public Service Commission, he returned to Columbia. Noam is the Director of CITI. He also served on the White House's President's IT Advisory Council. Besides the over 400 articles in economics, legal, communications, and other journals that Professor Noam has written on subjects such as communications, information, public choice, public finance, and general regulation, he has also authored, edited, and co-edited 28 books. Noam has served on the editorial boards of Columbia University Press as well as of a dozen academic journals, and on corporate and non-profit boards. He was a regular columnist on the new economy for the Financial Times online. He is a member of the Council for Foreign Relations. He received AB, AM, Ph.D. (Economics) and JD degrees, all from Harvard. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Munich (2006) and the University of Marseilles (2008).

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 92, 4th Quarter 2013

Sophie NIGON
Managing Editor


Interview with Craig MOFFETT MoffettNathanson LLC, New York

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 92, 4th Quarter 2013

Video cord-cutting

Summary of this issue: "Video cord-cutting" refers to the process of switching from traditional cable, IPTV, or a satellite video subscription to video services accessed through a broadband connection, so called over-the-top (OTT) video. The impact of cord cutting will probably differ among countries, depending on the level of roll-out of digital cable, fibre optic networks, and/or IPTV, on the tariffs of legacy video services, on the quality of broadband access and on national players’ strategies.
Regulation will play a key role in this new environment, as a strict enforcement of net neutrality could prevent network operators from leveraging their access to customer base to market their own video services.

MoffettNathanson LLC, New York
Interview with Craig MOFFETT
MoffettNathanson LLC, New York

Conducted by Raul KATZ,
CITI (Columbia Institute for Tele Information),
New York


C&S: Is cord-cutting affecting equally cable TV and telcos in the US?


There's a fundamental difference between the cord-cutting experienced by the cable operators, which is all about video, and that experienced by telcos, which is all about voice. Video is a high bandwidth service and voice is a low bandwidth one.

Low bandwidth services are the easier target, so up to now we've seen much more aggressive cord-cutting in voice than in video. The fact that the cable operators have a more robust physical plant than the phone companies has left the telcos losing share in broadband as well as in voice, making the losses all the more painful for the telcos.

Video is such a high bandwidth service that video cord-cutting is only just beginning. By our estimates, there are now as many as 2 million households that have cut the Pay TV cord in the U.S. That's only about 2% of the market, but it is a growing segment. In these early numbers you can see the beginnings of a bigger problem.

What are the different retention strategies deployed by each type of player to prevent an acceleration of cord-cutting trends?

The telcos seem to have concluded that they are fighting a losing battle to retain wireline voice customers. The residential voice market as a standalone business is vanishing before our very eyes. Unlike in Europe, bundling wireline and wireless therefore isn't really an option. In the U.S., the telcos have regional wireline footprints but also have national wireless ones. Naturally, they are reluctant to make a compelling integrated offering for fear that it will simply reduce the competitiveness of their wireless businesses outside their footprints.

Cable operators have an advantage in that they've got the best physical plant (at least where there is no fiber-to-the-home alternative). So they've been able to bundle video and broadband, and even voice, as a retention strategy. That has proven very sticky. And by tilting the pricing of their services – higher for broadband and lower for video, at least on the margin – they can make it less and less attractive to leave.

And the cable operators have another advantage. It is easier to defend high bandwidth services than it is to defend narrowband ones. The key is whether the cable operators will be able to begin charging for broadband usage. If they can, defending against high bandwidth video streaming becomes relatively easy. Or rather, it becomes a moot point, since a carrier charging the right price for usage is economically indifferent whether video is delivered via traditional Pay TV or via internet-based OTT (over-the-top) alternatives. The question here is entirely regulatory. Whether they will meet regulatory resistance to their early trials is unclear.

Would any changes in the content arena (e.g. sports content) accelerate the cord-cutting trend?

In many ways, sports programming holds the key to how the ecosystem will evolve in the U.S. Today, sports are exclusively available via the traditional model. Cutting the cord is therefore appealing to a relatively smaller segment of the population. If the most popular sports events were to be made available over the Internet you would suddenly begin to see a much more rapid migration to video over the Internet.

Conversely, if traditional cable and satellite operators are ever able to force the unbundling of sports networks by putting them on a separate tier, they would relieve what is otherwise a tremendous pressure point on the system. In theory, that would slow down cord-cutting. Today, cord-cutting is primarily about cost, not technology. And the biggest driver of cost inflation is sports programming. Taking it out of the basic programming tier would lower the cost to non-sports enthusiasts, reducing their incentive to cut the cord.

Would you see that cord-cutting would trigger additional changes in the content value chain (e.g. backward/forward integration, M&A)?

For distributors, the key question is whether the economic value of the video transport function can be preserved in an over the top model. If it can, the distributors will fare relatively well. Even satellite operators would benefit, since the economic benefit of cord-cutting would be mostly eliminated, which would naturally slow down the migration. Again, the real questions here are regulatory, not technological or economic.

For programmers, the key question is whether cord-cutting will necessitate unbundling. Most consumers think that content bundling is driven by the distributors. It is not. It is driven by the programmers. The programmers sell bundles of cable networks to the cable operators, and their contracts require that those bundles be kept intact.

Cord-cutting is typically assumed to entail a move to unbundling, or a la carte, programming, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. One can imagine a model where video is delivered over the Internet in the same unwieldy bundles that are today delivered by cable and satellite operators. If things evolve that way, the implications for the programmers will be relatively modest. On the other hand, if programming is ultimately unbundled as it moves to the Internet then the value chain as we know it will be upended. Value in that model would move further and further upstream, ultimately to the actors and artists, accelerating a migration we've been witnessing in slow motion for years. The value of the media conglomerates would radically decline as their revenues declined and as their costs of content acquisition and production rose. At this point, it is too early to say whether this will happen in video. It already has in music, and the results haven't been pretty.


Craig MOFFETT is the founder of MoffettNathanson LLC, an independent institutional research firm specializing in the telecommunications, and cable and satellite sectors. Mr. Moffett spent more than ten years at Sanford Bernstein & Co., LLC as a senior research analyst. He was previously the President and founder of the e-commerce business at Sotheby's Holdings. Mr. Moffett spent more than eleven years at The Boston Consulting Group, where he was a Partner and Vice President specializing in telecommunications. He was the leader of BCG's global Telecommunications practice from 1996 to 1999. While at BCG, he led client initiatives in the U.S. local, long distance, and wireless sectors, in both consumer and commercial services, and advised companies outside the U.S. in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He was the author of more than 20 articles about the telecommunications industry during the 1990s. He published analyses and forecasts

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 92, 4th Quarter 2013

Sophie NIGON
Managing Editor


Interview with Gilles BRÉGANT, CEO of ANFR

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 90, 2nd Quarter 2013

The radio spectrum: A shift in paradigms?

Summary of this issue: Demand for the use of the radio spectrum is constantly and rapidly growing, not only as a means of carrying Internet traffic, but also for new or expanding use by the military, public protection and disaster relief, at the same time that more traditional applications such as aeronautical, maritime, and radio astronomy remain. Is spectrum policy entering a trackless wilderness, or can a new direction and a new set of paradigms be expected to emerge? The contributions to this special issue of Communications & Strategies cover a great deal of ground. They serve to provide valuable signposts for spectrum policy going forward.


Interview with Gilles BRÉGANT
(French national spectrum agency)

Conducted by Frédéric PUJOL,

Head of the radio technologies & spectrum practice, IDATE


C&S: What are ANFR's main priorities in the coming two years as far as Spectrum management is concerned?


The Agence nationale des Fréquences (ANFR) is the French public Agency in charge of radio spectrum management. It is placed under the jurisdiction of the Minister responsible for Electronic Communications (Mr. Arnaud Montebourg and Ms. Fleur Pellerin since May 2012) but all the Ministries using spectrum are represented at ANFR's board. Besides, ANFR's decisions regarding spectrum allocation are actually taken by the Prime Minister since spectrum, in France, is a state affair.
Spectrum management priorities will be closely linked to the governmental decisions and digital economy needs for the following years and to the international and European agenda.

A. Create the conditions of mobile broadband (4G) success in France
4G allows very high data flow rates and significantly increased user comfort: lightning-fast downloads, and a more fluid navigation become possible on smartphones or tablets. This opens up opportunities for new services in mobility, such as access to audiovisual content. A factor of innovation, growth and job creation, 4G is one of the priorities of the Government. ANFR has been deeply involved for the development of European harmonized conditions for the usage of 4G and is currently mobilized to make a success for the introduction of this new technology.

Since December 2012, the Agency has published a 4G roll out observatory. This tool will be key to monitor 4G infrastructures deployment, carrier by carrier.
However, the 4G challenge will be a tricky one when it comes to spectrum management since the 800 MHz 4G can interfere with DTT. ANFR uses its resources devoted to the protection of TV reception so that the 4G 800 MHz and TNT coexist harmoniously.

The ANFR intervenes at every stage of the deployment:
- it actively participates in the communication towards local elected officials, professionals and the general public on these operations;
- during the phases of deployment, it collects and instructs the claims of viewers through its call center;
- it oversees the resolution of the problem by operators if the interference comes from the 4G 800 MHz. A professional intervenes, most often to insert a filter in the reception of the TNT facility.
The TV reception is therefore guaranteed for each viewer. The full cost of interventions is supported by mobile operators.

B. Prepare the next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC)
In 2012, we have drawn the immediate consequences of the WRC-12. In 2014, the delegations will develop first arbitrations of WRC-15. In 2013, national positions must be taken.

One of the challenges of this Conference will be the question of the future of the 700 MHz band. In France, it is now assigned to audiovisual. Since the debates on the first digital dividend, five years ago, the terms of the problem have been well known: the use of mobile Internet is expected to grow regularly in the coming years to meet the expectations of very mobile broadband. But this demand for broadband is common to all sectors: the audiovisual sector wants to keep these frequencies to offer new services: generalization of high definition, introduction of ultra high definition or 4K for example. And Government services, such as those of the Ministry of the Interior, also want to access services such as video for safety services.

In this debate, three ideas seem inevitable:
- there is not enough spectrum available under 1 GHz to satisfy fully each need;
- France is not an island, and it will have to act in harmony with its Western European neighbors;
- Europe will have to play an important role.

ANFR, as it manages the entire spectrum and guaranties technical neutrality, is coordinating the preparatory work at the national and international levels. ANFR, which is already contributing to the preparation of the next WRC, is involved in various entities in CEPT and UIT involved in this process and is bringing its technical expertise to the Government so that a decision can be taken in the best conditions.
ANFR is also an active member of the RSPG ad hoc group, which will provide recommendation to European Commission on WRC issues and on the identification of 1200 MHz for wireless broadband.

C. Facilitate the deployment of the 6 new DTT channels
Since December 12, 2012, 25% of the French population can access 6 new HD channels with their DTT HD TV sets. Free to air TV is no longer limited to generalist channels. Every French citizen, and not only the ones with cable, satellite or IPTV subscriptions, will be able to watch specialized channels on areas such as sports, travels, diversity and so on by 2015.

The years to come will see more of the French population covered by the new HD DTT channels.
The Agency, together with the CSA, has the mission to assist viewers in solving their TV reception problems through its call center and its dedicated website, "www.recevoirlatnt.fr", in collaboration with local aerial installers. If necessary, it will grant funding provided by the State to viewers who have lost DTT reception.

What are the expected evolutions as far as new ways of sharing spectrum are concerned? What are their consequences on spectrum management?

First, it is important to recall that spectrum sharing is already a reality with short range devices operating under a general authorization on a non interference and non protection basis. This is the case for Wifi in the 2.45 GHz and 5 GHz bands. This is also the case of all applications using ultra wide band devices which are sharing spectrum thanks to a very low power density. UWB technology was also used in sectors such as automobile and aeronautics.

What about Licensed Shared Access (LSA)?

The objective of an LSA approach is to facilitate the introduction of additional users operating with individual spectrum rights of use in specific bands and on a shared basis with an incumbent user, thus allowing predictable quality of service for all rights holders. These arrangements will need sufficient flexibility in order to account for national particularities, in relation to the administration of spectrum.

LSA could be introduced as a regulatory approach to release spectrum. In addition to conventional planning methods, cognitive radio technologies and their capabilities (geolocation databases, sensing, etc.) could be taken into account as enablers for sharing under the LSA approach.

ANFR engineers are actively participating in European works, at the ECC level for instance, on this issue, which is still in its early stages.

700 MHz band: what are the stakes and constraints?

World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2012 decided that for the Region 1 the 694-790 MHz band will be allocated to mobile service co primary with broadcast services, this allocation becoming effective after WRC-15.

The issues at stake in the preparatory works for the WRC-15 are each tied to technical and negotiated matters. The possible refinement of the lower band edge (694 MHz) is one issue up for debate during the preparatory works. The second stake is the identification of a harmonized channelling arrangement, that is to say, the uplink and downlink bands. Finally, technical matters such as sharing studies between mobile and DTT at 694 MHz and the consequence of this on the necessary guard band are also to be clarified through the preparatory works for the WRC-15.

Regarding the choice, and its consequences, between IMT and broadcast, WRC was the starting point. The next steps are European decisions and national arbitrages.

2013 will be the year of public exposure to electromagnetic fields in France (ANSES report, Abeille Bill…): what is the role of ANFR as far as exposition control is concerned?

First, the Agency has no sanitary or health prerogatives, its expertise and missions only rely on technical matters.
The Agency monitors the respect by radiocommunication network operators of the public exposure to electromagnetic fields limits. The legal limits are the ones of a 1999 European Recommendation. Besides, by Law, the Agency has to make an inventory of "atypical" points, that is, the points where the exposure is significantly above the national average (while still below the limits). ANFR also elaborates the protocol used to measure the public exposure to electromagnetic fields. ANFR is also in charge of devices monitoring (phones, smartphones, tablets…). We insure that DAS limits (2 W/kg) are respected. We also check if the necessary information is properly provided to consumers.

2013 will indeed be the year of public exposure to electromagnetic fields. It began with the Bill introduced by MP Ms. Abeille from the Environmentalist Party. This Bill was forwarded to the Parliament Economic Commission for further analysis.
In 2013, we will publish our report on technical experiments which were lead in France to assess the possibility to reduce public exposure to electromagnetic fields due to mobile operators antennae without decreasing coverage and quality of service. Such experiment is a world premiere until now. 2013 will also be the year when ANSES, the French sanitary authorities, publishes its new report on the sanitary effects of such a field.

The Agency is a neutral, technical expert in that area. By participating in public meetings, advising elected officials and also the general public through its website Cartoradio, the Agency participates in turning this potential concern into a serene public debate. Finally, in 2013 we will provide a mobile version of Cartoradio, with the location of all mobile based-stations and the results of more than 26,000 field measures.

The ANFR organizes an international Conference on June 26 and 27 2013 entitled "Spectrum & Innovation": what is it about?

The Conference "Spectrum and Innovation" was instigated by Ms. Fleur Pellerin, delegated Minister in charge of Small businesses, Innovation and Digital Economy. We want the Conference to be a major event in 2013 for the digital economy sector in general and radiofrequencies in particular. The objective is to show to a large audience of professionals from the digital economy how spectrum is key to their sector and how this resource is crucial to economic growth in the coming years.

Different themes will be dealt with: how mobility is shaping our society and stimulating innovation, how radiofrequencies constitute a growth leverage for industry and small businesses, or even the spectrum needs for 2020. To debate on these subjects only experts in their fields have been chosen. The Conference will also be a chance to listen to influential and renowned speakers: Ministers, European and foreign institutions officials, renowned academics and business leaders (BBC, Bouygues Telecom, Cisco, Eutelsat, France Télévisions, Free Mobile, IBM, M6, NRJ Group, Orange, Qualcomm, Renault, SFR, TDF, TF1…).

We expect these two days to shows us what exciting new developments can be in store in the coming years. The Conference will prove how spectrum can foster innovation, growth and job creation.


Gilles BRÉGANT was born in Chambery in September 1963. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique (1986) and from Telecom ParisTech (1988). Following an 8-year-career at France Telecom research center, Gilles Brégant was appointed technical adviser to the Minister in charge of Research (1996-1997). He had to coordinate international projects and themes in relation with information technology. He then worked for the department of trade and industry as deputy director in charge of Prospective. He was appointed secretary general of the ministerial task force "Digital Economy" (2001-2005). He was then appointed Technical Director of Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (the French Media Regulator) in 2005. Gilles Brégant is the CEO of ANFR since 2011.

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 90, 2nd Quarter 2013

Sophie NIGON
Managing Editor


Les telcos face au défi des investissements

Chef de projet, Digiworld by IDATE

La dynamique des Capex reste positive avec un montant global de 237 milliards d’Euros

«la croissance des Capex n’a jamais été aussi soutenue qu’en 2012, puisqu’elle a été de près de 7%, une légère amélioration par rapport à 2011.»

L’IDATE publie son étude annuelle sur l’évolution des stratégies d’investissement des opérateurs télécoms dans le monde. L’occasion de faire un point sur un indicateur désormais clé de la santé de l’industrie des télécommunications.

Carole Manero, Chef de projet de ce rapport qui repose sur une base de données mondiale originale sur les Capex fixe et mobile des opérateurs, note que « la croissance des Capex n’a jamais été aussi soutenue qu’en 2012, puisqu’elle a été de près de 7%, soit une légère amélioration par rapport à 2011. » Les investissements télécoms mondiaux ont ainsi dépassé en 2012 leur niveau de 2008.

Les investissements mobiles tirent la croissance

Selon l'IDATE, ils s’établissent à 132 milliards EUR en 2012, soit 9 milliards EUR de plus qu’en 2011 (sur 15 milliards EUR pour le total de la croissance des CAPEX entre 2011 et 2012). Ils sont tirés notamment par l'investissement des opérateurs télécoms pour la migration de leurs infrastructures vers le haut débit mobile.

La France, 1er investisseur des pays de l’Union européenne

En Europe, La France est le 1er investisseur des pays de l’Union européenne, avec un montant de Capex de 6,8 milliards d’Euro en 2012, tout, juste devant le Royaume-Uni qui atteint les 6,7 milliards d’euro.

Ventilation des CAPEX totaux dans le monde, en 2012

Worldwide CAPEX breakdown

Source : IDATE, juillet 2013

Les pays émergents sont aussi la locomotive des CAPEX

Les CAPEX des pays émergents (BRIC + MEA + LATAM) ont crû de près de 9 milliards EUR en 2012, soit 57% du total de la croissance entre 2011 et 2012.
- Les pays émergents sont confrontés à la nécessaire construction de leurs réseaux, notamment mobiles, ou à leur modernisation.
- Les pays émergents misent principalement sur les infrastructures mobiles, étant donné leur déficit d’infrastructures fixes.
- A noter que la Chine est devenu le 1er investisseur mondial au sein de la zone Asie-Pacifique qui reste de loin la zone géographique la plus dynamique avec des Capex cumulé, fixe et mobile, de plus de 100 milliards d’Euro en 2012.

La rationalisation des investissements

Les opérateurs ont entre leurs mains plusieurs outils pour rationaliser les investissements, comme la mutualisation, l’externalisation voire l’insourcing, même s’il ne se dégage pas au niveau mondial de ligne de conduite définie par pays ni par opérateur.

Dynamique CAPEX des opérateurs internationaux sur les 4 dernières années

CAPEX Dynamics

Source : IDATE, juillet 2013

Cette analyse est un extrait de notre insight Les telcos face au défi des investissements que nous proposons dans le cadre de notre veille continue Telecom Players & Markets Watch


Next Gen Netwoks : atteindre le DAE


Directeur d'Etudes, Telecoms Business Unit, IDATE

Coûts de déploiement et revenus des marchés de l'accès en Europe

Les objectifs fixés par la Commission européenne en matière de Très Haut Débit (THD) sont ambitieux : assurer une couverture exhaustive à 30 Mbps des foyers européens en 2020 et compter 50 % de foyers abonnés à un accès à 100 Mbps.

Coût des déploiements NGN pour atteindre les objectifs du DAE

Les déploiements de réseaux NGN ont été initiés dans tous les pays de l'Union européenne mais progressent à des rythmes très différents d'un pays à l'autre. Certains gouvernements ont défini des programmes nationaux fixant leurs propres objectifs pour tenter d'accélérer les déploiements, que ce soit auprès des opérateurs privés ou des acteurs publics.
L'IDATE a publié une étude dans laquelle le coût des déploiements NGN a été modélisé selon plusieurs scénarios.
Nous en retenons ici trois : le scénario "Base case", qui correspond à une évolution progressive des réseaux NGN actuels, le scénario "Vectoring", qui mise sur l'évolution attendue des technologies cuivre pour permettre d'atteindre les débits requis par le DAE, et le scénario "FTTH", qui prône un déploiement massif de réseaux FTTH/B, inégalables en termes de performances à long terme. Ce dernier scénario fait lui-même l'objet d'une analyse selon deux options (couverture FTTH à 90% ou 100%), qui aboutissent à des coûts sensiblement différents.
Les coûts cumulés de ces scénarios entre 2011 et 2020 varient de 71 à 230 milliards EUR.

Comparaison des coûts des scénarios de déploiement NGN en Europe

Coût total et par habitant du néploiment du très haut débit en Europe

Source: IDATE

Revenus lies au marché de l'accès THD

En parallèle, l'IDATE a également mené une étude visant à évaluer la valeur du marché de l'accès THD. Cette étude s'appuie sur une analyse approfondie de l'offre THD telle qu'elle est proposée par des acteurs clés de marchés représentatifs des différents degrés de maturité du THD. Cette analyse a permis d'identifier des modèles d'offre type, auxquels sont associés un ou plusieurs objectifs (maintien du positionnement, augmentation de l'ARPU, réduction du churn, désengagement du dégroupage…). Le positionnement commercial des opérateurs va alors correspondre à un type d'offres donné, en fonction du niveau de concurrence notamment.

À partir de là, il est possible de déterminer quelles seront les tendances en termes d'ARPU THD au cours des prochaines années et ainsi évaluer l'une des deux variables clés des revenus de l'accès. L'autre variable est le nombre d'abonnés THD, qui devrait continuer de croître, toutes technologies confondues, de manière relativement régulière d'ici à 2020.
Selon nos estimations, le marché de l'accès THD devrait atteindre 48 milliards EUR à l'horizon 2020.

Coûts vs revenus : quel scénario privilégier ?

scénario le plus onéreux à l'horizon 2020), on ne peut pas vraiment considérer que le scénario "FTTH" soit réalisable (quelle que soit l'option de couverture considérée), ne serait-ce que parce que les câblo-opérateurs, dont les infrastructures offrent des débits plus rapides, sont moins onéreuses à mettre à niveau et présentent des performances intéressantes, continueront de jouer un rôle majeur sur ce marché.Le scénario "Base case" paraît le plus plausible dans le sens où il s'agirait d'assurer la continuité de ce qui existe aujourd'hui, à savoir une combinaison des technologies, avec une accélération des déploiements. Pour autant, il présente lui aussi des risques, notamment liés à une migration modérée des abonnés haut débit vers le THD.Quel que soit le scénario qui sera mis en œuvre, les opérateurs auront de toute façon des investissements importants à consacrer aux déploiements, auxquels se grèveront des efforts non négligeables à faire pour susciter la demande, à défaut de quoi les revenus envisagés ne sauraient être atteints.

Cette analyse est un extrait de notre insight FTTX que nous proposons dans le cadre de notre veille continue du marché mondial du FTTx