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Digiworld Economic Journal

Call for Papers

Dossier to be published in No. 106 – 2nd Q. 2017

What does the future hold for telecoms?

Eds: Paul de BIJL, Richard FEASEY,

The telecom services market represents a sizeable percentage of the digital economy, as much in terms of revenue (over €1,100 billion) as ensuring the conditions for the different sectors’ digital transformation.

At the same time, the market has experienced major upheavals over the past several decades: opening up to competition, the explosion of cellular and later fixed and mobile Internet. Telcos are having to contend with the fallout of sometimes fierce competition that is weighing on both their growth and margins, and with the need to make considerable investments in fibre and 4G/5G networks, to keep pace with increasing connection speeds and fixed and mobile traffic. More than anything, however, it is telcos’ old business models, dominated by charging for calling minutes, which is steadily being erased by the emergence of all IP, and their integration into the Internet’s far more complex value chain.

The first reflex under such circumstances is typically to cut costs, reducing personnel costs and requiring suppliers to shoulder some of the burden of the cutbacks. Whenever possible, these cost-cutting measures are accompanied by investments in growing emerging markets and in consolidation deals in more mature markets.

Beyond that are considerations over what the business of operator will look like, and what the scale of their operations will be 10 years from now, over the sector’s future industrial organisation, the regulatory framework that will apply… all of which give rise to a host of questions, such as:
• To what extent can telcos avoid competition based solely on retail prices? How can they differentiate themselves (in their access to customers, integrating access to content and services…)?
• How are the market’s barriers to entry likely to change? Are we moving towards regional or global consolidation of the sector? What synergies are available to cross-border consolidation efforts?
• What underpins the fixed-mobile convergence trend (merging infrastructure, cross-selling, etc.)?
• What is the economic argument coming for the many telcos that are investing in the distribution or production of TV content? Should we expect to see a shift in the relationship between telcos and OTT providers? Will we still be talking about net neutrality 10 years from now?
• What other avenues of diversification are we seeing in top telcos’ strategies (cloud, IoT, security, banking, e-commerce, video games…)? Is it too early to draw conclusions from these forays into new markets?
• What distinguishes telcos’ positioning from OTT players’ in terms of utilising and monetising user data? Would there be any competitive advantages for telcos to act as trusted third parties?
• Can the features of platform economics (two-sided market) apply to telcos?
• Just how far can telcos go in their vertical integration? And what role could an opposite business model play, in which the network operator would be a pure wholesaler?

These are the questions that issue No. 106 of the DigiWorld Economic Journal is taking as its point of departure for economic analysis pieces that could be case studies, benchmarks, modelling exercises, scenario building, explorations of the public policy challenges surrounding the telecommunications sector, etc.

Please send submissions (in the form of full papers)
by 30th March 2017 to:


Dossier to be published in No. 105 – 1st Q. 2017

Future of automotive:

Impacts of digitization

Eds: Thierry Burger-Helmchen, Bernard Jullien & Samuel Ropert

In the first half of 2016, car manufacturers saw a record-breaking 45.6 million sales worldwide, an increase of almost 4 percent, according to WardsAuto. With this constant growth, the final score will come in at nearly 93 million vehicles sold this year and at this pace, annual global sales could even top 100 million by late 2018.

Automotive is one of the oldest industries and will face numerous stakes in the near future, in terms of environment, security, urbanization with smarter cities especially in developing regions, etc.

Today, automotive industry is at the core of different revolutions regarding motorization (electric car introduction), digitalization of its products and societal behavior modifications (car sharing).

Digitalization enables connecting vehicles and providing innovative applications such as driver-related (telematics) and mobile Internet-like (infotainment) services. Connected car services represent a promising market: according to IDATE, in 2020, 420 million automotive will be connected; representing a 34% CAGR on the 74 million connected vehicles in 2014. This market should benefit from the different regulations around the globe, promoting more security on road.

But the revolution is a bit further. The headlines rely on the self-driving vehicles which are on everyone lips in the industry. Self-driving cars will be at the “crossroads” of different stakeholders’ strategies, and it could therefore represent the new battlefield.

Moreover, these transformations should modify the traditional barriers. Connected cars services have already seen the emergence of new car manufacturers like Tesla, LeEco (which has raised 1.08 billion USD to finance a smart factory) or BYD. Autonomous car has already introduced new entrant manufacturers which are already in advanced on the technological perspectives. The strategy of each car manufacturer will have to manage the reasonable arrangements with the digital big names, the GAFA and Internet platforms, the telcos, in addition to their peers, new entrants and traditional suppliers.

Finally, servicization will also have impacts on the customer loyalty as not only the product (the car) will be transformed, but also the consumption model with the development of various offerings of “car as a service”, mainly led by hailing car service emergence (Uber, Lyft and Didi at first).

Hence, autonomous vehicles are on the tracks to be a strong game changer in the coming years with massive impacts on everyone’s lives.

In this context, the DigiWorld Economic Journal special issue aims to gather articles that show the changing landscape of the automotive market, and how this is impacting the ecosystem from both traditional players’ (automotive manufacturers) and new entrants’ (internet giants or ride hailing players) perspectives.

The following topics are targeted in particular:
• What are the lessons/findings of the actual connected cars market (type of agreements with telcos, business models, interest of the consumers for the various applications and services) ?
• What are the drivers and hurdles to the development of autonomous cars (technical, legal, security, privacy reasons, or cultural, etc.)?
• What are the importance of the public policies and regulatory issues?
• What may be the importance of the technical developments like 5G and V2V/I standards?
• How will automotive manufacturers be transformed into mobility service providers? How long will it take to do so?
• What will be the place of Internet giants (GAFA) players? Do they represent a real threat or the ideal partners of auto manufacturers?
• Do we have to expect a consolidation of the car industry due to the connected/self-driving car?
• How will “smart city” and smart car be linked?
• How will third party business sector (banking, insurance) be impacted?
• Beyond transportation, what would be the other societal impacts of autonomous vehicles?

Please send submissions (in the form of full papers)
by 30th January 2017 to:


Submission of papers

All papers submitted for publication will be reviewed by at least two referees/experts using the "double blind" system.
Proposals must be submitted in Word format (.doc) and should not exceed 6,500 words – including the abstract and references.
As far as possible, the publisher recommends that you insert some illustrations (tables, diagrams) in the paper, in order to facilitate the general comprehension.
Please ensure that they are readable in grey scale, and that they are of high-definition, in order to guarantee the printing quality.
Bibliographical references should be included at the end of the article. Should these references appear in the text, please indicate the author's name and the year of publication in brackets.

Extra papers

Our DigiWorld Economic Journal also welcomes submissions for extra papers - off dossier - that typically cover innovative issues in the sector of the telecoms, internet and new media. If your paper is selected by the Editiorial committee, it will be submitted to the double-blind review process.
On the other hand, should you wish to propose a short paper (1500 to 3000 words maximum) for the "Features" rubric, offering factual analyses of recent developments in the fields of regulation and competition, firms and markets, technical innovations, public policies and use logics, please contact us.
Book reviews are also very welcome should they are in connection with our usual thematics.



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