Digitisation of communications and content has fundamentally changed telecoms and media markets in the last 20 years.

Digitisation of fixed and mobile networks transformed network capacity, lowered the cost of services and allowed new data services to thrive. Phone call revenue is now an afterthought for fixed and mobile service providers, who focus on selling portable data that can be used for calling, social media, messaging, video and internet browsing.

The disruption hasn’t stopped there. Digitisation has also facilitated a content revolution. Linear content delivery with one platform for one service is no more. Content is available via many digital platforms and these effects have been most profound in media markets; 1 in every 2 advertising dollars now goes to Google, Facebook and other online media. This has fueled concern about the market power of digital platforms and this has attracted scrutiny from competition authorities around the world.

The ubiquitous smartphone is also a product of digitisation. Smartphones fulfil our preferences for mobility and having the internet ‘always on’. Many users have already switched off fixed lines, although whether the trend accelerates will depend on our seemingly insatiable appetite for more data can be met through new mobile technologies.

Frontier Economics advises on the economic causes and effects of digitisation and the implications on policy and regulation for telecom network operators, content providers, policy makers, and regulators.

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