Connectivity is the new model of what used to be plain old telecommunications. In the 5G world, humans and machines now do more than just communicate: they constantly and ubiquitously connect with each other and share data. It is not just consumer appetite for data which is driving the change but intense political pressure in the race to digitalise countries, enabling them to compete on a global scale and prosperous.
The shift towards ubiquitous connectivity requires the underlying communications network to be at least upgraded, if not completely reworked. This means large capex investments from telcos, ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) providers, altnets and others, backed by public or private capital. But such investments will only be made if the business model behind them stacks up and if the legislative and regulatory landscape is an enabler rather than a risk factor.
To reflect on the profound changes and aspirations for this new era, a number of senior figures from across the telecommunications and finance industries joined very senior representatives of Ofcom and the Bundesnetzagentur to discuss how regulators and investors can work hand-in-hand to build the network of the future.
In this report, we highlight the themes that emerged from those discussions, including how the participants feel that regulators and investors can work together and are responding to those challenges and opportunities, together with their predictions for the future.