What potential do eSIM and OTA provide for competition and consumers?

WIK study on behalf of ComReg assesses the opportunities and challenges

The eSIM technology offers the potential for fully digitized customer journeys, flexible change options and innovative business models - consumers and competition may benefit significantly. However, the introduction and use of eSIM technology is a complex topic that currently raises numerous questions. The WIK study creates a fundamental technical understanding, depicts the customer journeys for consumer and M2M, gives an overview of the current market situation and provides visions and scenarios for the future market development.


Development of 5G campus networks in Germany and Europe

Two years have passed since the award of frequencies in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz range for local use started. Reason enough to take a look at the current status quo of the rollout of (5G) campus networks in Germany and to place the regulatory approach in an international context. What opportunities do companies see in the establishment of corresponding networks, and what obstacles still exist at present?

An extensive survey of WIK among the assignment holders of local frequency usage rights in Germany provides answers. The most important findings in regard to frequency regulatory, the application process and the implementation of (5G) campus networks to date have also been published in a journal article in N&R 2021.

Germany is playing a pioneering role in the allocation of local frequencies. At the same time, implementation is still at a very early stage. So far, around 150 companies and organizations have applied for and been allocated the relevant frequencies. However, regulatory requirements in Germany have led to increased competition for campus network offerings as new players enter the market.

Barriers still exist, for example, in the availability of 5G-capable hardware or the lack of ability to precisely quantify cost benefits today. With the further standardization of 5G, this availability of 5G-capable devices will increase further. Overall, the development will then largely depend on the costs of a 5G realization and the establishment of a large ecosystem in the respective sectors.


Green WIFI

WiFi 6/6E is essential for future broadband demand and overall ecological improvement

WiFi 6/6E is the ideally fitting in-building cordless access link complementing the fibre access  of buildings and homes, connecting not only cordless terminals (like cordless phones, smartphones, tablets, etc.) but all those terminals not taken into account in the original cable plans of the building (i.e. sensors). WiFi 6/6E enables performant access to new innovative applications such as  Augmented and Virtual Reality and in general participation in the new European gigabit society.

At the same time, WiFi 6/6E increases the energy efficiency of data transmission compared to the legacy WiFi systems by intelligent broadband management and a new deep sleep mode of access points and terminals. In addition WiFi 6/6E enables significant Grenhouse Gas (GHC) emission reductions in other sectors such as remote working and learning, e-health, building and transport and by this supports the European Green Deal.

The recent release of 480 MHz frequency space for WiFi 6E in the 6 GHz band by the European Commission only is a small step towards an early preparation of the markets compared to the release of 1,200 MHz in important Asian countries and many countries of North and South America.


Study "Local delivery for retail: case studies for local online marketplaces" published

Case studies on smart integration of retail and delivery

The transformation of retail towards more online shopping is greatly accelerated by the Corona pandemic. Owner-operated retail shops are coming under increasing pressure, while city centres are becoming deserted. One possibility to counter this development is through local online marketplaces that intelligently link stationary trade with suitable delivery solutions. The short study presents five examples from different urban and rural regions where local online marketplaces have been initiated.


10 leverages to achieve a full-coverage with gigabit infrastructures

The Covid 19 pandemic clearly showed the relevance of a connected and digitised society for Germany's competitiveness. Rapid roll-out of very high capacity networks is more important than ever before.
Against this backdrop, the study commissioned by the VATM names 10 leverages that can accelerate the path to the gigabit society in Germany:

We expect the strongest effects from a simplification of the approval processes and an increased use of alternative deployment technologies. In the case of broadband funding, there is a need for a clear prioritisation of public funds to structurally underserved areas. Furthermore, it should be considered to use parts of the funds for demand-oriented actions. Finally, the speed towards gigabit infrastructures will also depend on the competitiveness of the markets. This involves the wholesale and retail business for private and business customers.


Open access networks for Austria

WIK report examines Open Access models in Austria and gives recommendations in order to support the development towards a more intensive use of gigabit-capable infrastructures.

Open Access Networks (OAN), which have emerged in various forms play an important role for the deployment of fibre-optic infrastructure in Austria.

In the Austrian context the term OAN is used synonymously with wholesale-only, where the infrastructure provider does not offer own retail products. Compared to vertically integrated models, OAN offer the potential for competition without the need for investments in the deployment of parallel networks. The provision of the different stages of the value chain by different actors and the interaction between the different partners lead to organisational challenges and transaction costs, which are also detrimental to competition. The topic of standardising products, processes and interfaces along the customer life cycle is highly relevant in this context.

Against this backdrop, the study conducted by WIK and WIFO on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism of the Republic of Austria analyses the state of standardisation of OANs in Austria. We discuss different approaches to increase the extent of standardisation. In addition, for the first time a systematic examination of the Austrian OAN models is carried out from an economic perspective. Experiences from other European member states are presented, challenges defined and recommendations for action derived.


The Königswinter Postal Seminar was held for the 19th time

Postal experts discussed the effects of the EU cross-border parcel regulation as well as postal services and postal markets in transition

The Königswinter Postal Seminar took place for the first time as an online event on 9 and 10 November 2021. It brought together international postal experts to discuss current developments in postal markets and regulatory trends. The internationally renowned seminar attracted high-profile speakers from postal operators and regulators as well as ERGP and PostEurop. The seminar focused on the first experiences with the EU regulation on cross-border parcels and the changing nature of postal services and markets.


The Federal Network Agency applies WIK tools for price-cap proceeding in the postal sector

In 2020, WIK-Consult was commissioned by the Federal Network Agency to identify quantitative methods for determining the productivity growth rate and to examine their suitability for regulating tariffs in the German postal market. On this basis, WIK-Consult has developed four examples for application in the postal sector, including the corresponding Excel tools, and discussed their strengths and weaknesses. In the current price cap procedure, the Federal Network Agency used the tools developed by WIK-Consult for the first time to check the plausibility of the cost-based X-factor with values from the comparative market analysis. The draft decision, the WIK study and the Excel tools are available on the homepage of the Federal Network Agency.


The role of MVNOs in a changing market environment

WIK-Consult analyses MVNO business models in Ireland

On behalf of the Irish telecommunications regulator ComReg, WIK-Consult has dealt with the role of MVNOs. A main focus is on MVNO business models and their development against the backdrop of technological innovations such as IoT, eSIM and 5G, competitive challenges such as competition from secondary brands of MNOs, increasing demand for data as well as changing marketing and sales through digital distribution channels.


Newsletter No. 124, September 2021

The new WIK Newsletter (only in German language) is available for download. Next to articles about current projects at WIK it starts off with a contribution about „Wettbewerbsoffene Point-to-Point Glasfaserarchitektur: Ein Urteil aus der Schweiz“.


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