Report: GIGAWorld €250bn innovation wave

Research from consultancy firm Arthur D. Little (ADL) estimates that the GIGAWorld – the world enabled by widespread access to high quality, gigabit Internet in which people, machines and the environment collaborate intelligently – could generate billions of Euros for the European economy, and trillions globally.

The report, commissioned by international TV and broadband company Liberty Global, offers a glimpse into the future, outlining the possibilities that will arise with the emergence of a GIGAWorld, including robot-assisted remote tele-surgery, 3D holographic projections of sports events and skyscraper windows maintained by drone-robots.

However, the research notes that the success of the GIGAWorld “will depend on the room its innovation cycle will be given to function, to allow new innovative applications and devices to be developed, networks to be upgraded to GIGANetworks and new monetisation models to be adopted”. A key factor will be the “predictability and clarity of the public policy framework to stimulate all actors to invest in the GIGAWorld and to experiment with new business models”.

ADL estimates that, under the right circumstances, the GIGAWorld innovation cycle will unlock a market of at least €250 billion and up to €660 billion per year by 2025 in Europe. At the global level, the value is expected to be €1.3 trillion to €3.5 trillion per year.

According to ADL, the market will be unlocked by three major families of ‘GIGAapps’ that will maximise the opportunities that a GIGAWorld presents.

  • Augmented Discovery is the advanced understanding of, and interaction with, an environment through a blend of digital content with the physical world, e.g., the broadcasting of holographic sports events or an augmented teaching session. By 2025, Augmented Discovery is expected to generate revenues estimated at between €80 billion and €175 billion per year in Europe.
  • Virtual Telepresence focuses on overcoming physical or geographic boundaries or immersive presence in artificial environments, for example, a seamless retail experience or virtual social interaction. By 2025, Virtual Telepresence is estimated to create revenues of €20 billion – 60 billion per year in Europe.
  • Automated Living is the delegation of human decision-making and task execution to technology and appliances, e.g., agriculture supervision by drones or patient health tele-monitoring. By 2025, this market in Europe is estimated to reach €150 billion – €425 billion of revenue per year.

Usage and smooth functioning of these apps will rely on the quality of networks, which will need to provide key service features such as high bandwidth, low latency, high reliability, high security, high resilience, widespread coverage and position accuracy (the ability to determine via the network the device’s positioning in three-dimensional space).

ADL notes that the GIGAapps will affect most economic sectors: Industrial, Smart Home & Entertainment, Healthcare, Travel & Tourism, Public Planning & Administration, Education & Training, Retail & Commerce, Energy & Utilities.

“This report clearly highlights the massive economic benefits and technological advancements that await us if we embrace GIGAWorld,” noted Liberty Global SVP and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Manuel Kohnstamm. “Networks are an essential foundation of such an exciting future, and Liberty Global’s investments, expansions and upgrades are making it possible. Society will benefit if businesses and governments and regulators collaborate to help drive the next innovation cycle, enable the use of GIGAapps and unlock new value.”

“After 30 years of the Internet, we are entering a new era,” declared Gregory Pankert, Partner, Arthur D. Little. “The third industrial revolution leveraged the development of electronics, IT and automated production. The ongoing fourth industrial revolution is driven by cyber-physical systems and fuelling a wave of technological innovation that fundamentally alters the nature of digital applications. It will be essential for regulators to ensure the innovation cycle functions well, iterates and creates value.”

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