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This report forms part of Ovum’s Digital Economy 2025 series and offers a high-level outlook for regulatory developments over the coming decade.


  • The Second Digital Revolution is coming: cost-effective connectivity, greater computing capacity through the cloud, and improved capabilities from technologies such as predictive analytics and artificial intelligence will enable the automation, analysis, and optimization of more business processes.
  • The Digital Enabler opportunity will be worth $4.8 trillion in 2025. Those players providing hardware, software, connectivity, platforms, and services to the digital economy have a huge opportunity to enable organizations’ transformations.
  • Enterprise technology spending will attract competition, but connectivity will maintain its value. Enterprise technology spending will contribute 32% of the total digital enablement market value in 2025 after growing at a 4.3% CAGR from 2015 to 2025.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes how technology will combine with macro political, economic, social, and environmental trends to define the world in 10 years' time.
  • Assesses the evolution of the digital economy and its key players over the coming decade to aid long-term strategic planning.

Key questions answered

  • What is the future outlook for the digital economy to 2025?
  • How will technical and macro political, economic, social, and environmental trends combine to shape the world in 2025?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Consolidation will put competition to the test

  • Regulators will try to maintain current levels of competition while ensuring continued network investment
  • Where consolidation is approved, remedies must make sense

Next-generation technologies for fixed and mobile access will involve new standards and licensing

  • Regulators will explore “unlicensed licensing” (i.e. dynamic access) for spectrum
  • Regulators will clarify their stance towards extending the life of copper and creating a competitive market in fiber broadband

More ambitious national broadband speed targets and a reclassification of the USO

  • As current national broadband plans expire, new ones will be formed with even more ambitious speed targets
  • What is considered the basic minimum will evolve with a new concept of universal service

IoT will force change in the way regulators work with one another

  • Different regulatory authorities will have to coordinate, within and between countries
  • Defining international standards for device/service interoperability will be key
  • Further consistency in organizing spectrum bands across countries will be necessary

OTTs will face regulatory pressure while telcos expected to see a loosening of the rules

  • Market definitions will change as OTTs fall within the scope of communications providers
  • Data protection rules will entail stricter requirements

Desire for further openness will evolve the net neutrality debate

  • Regulators and policy makers will debate net neutrality for years to come


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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