In recent months, it was the financial sector’s turn to be challenged, this time by the FinTech phenomenon that is ushering in aggregators, multiple mobile payment and banking configurations, crowd-funding and -lending platforms, as well as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and, perhaps most significantly, its blockchain infrastructure.
So here we are, at the dawn of the blockchain revolution. Thanks to a distributed database technology, which validates transactions (each a link in the chain) through a large collective of Internet users, we have a virtually tamper-proof way of managing transaction logs, without a central server and without an administrator.
Combined with connected objects, such as a front door, and smart contracts (programmes for automatically executing contracts once certain conditions are met), the belief is that blockchain systems could “Uberize” sites such as Airbnb by removing the need for an intermediary between the two parties. But we’re not quite there yet.
Between libertarian dreams and the highly supervised trials being carried out by banks and other companies, it is still hard to get an accurate picture of how efficient blockchain technology is, technically speaking, and how credible the vision of a world in which trust third parties of last resort have disappeared. But it would also be unwise to think that nothing will come of the technology – or of the multiple start-ups that have embraced it to devise applications for sectors as disparate as banking, retail, energy distribution and music.
Whether at the upcoming DigiWorld Summit in Montpellier, whose central theme will be “The Internet of Trust” (15 – 17 November 2016) or the dossier we are preparing for the forthcoming issue of DigiWorld Economic Journal, devoted to “Digital innovation and transformation in the financial sector,” you will have ample opportunity to explore the ins and outs of these fascinating developments with IDATE DigiWorld teams this year.
 We have the feeling that smart contracts, which are often lumped in with blockchains, have what it takes to emerge as a solution unto itself and really catch on.
FTTR is expected to disruptively transform home broadband experience
The outbreak of pandemic has led to an inevitable surge in the use of digital technologies and placed broadband networks as an key enabler for various digital applications in home, including teleconference, online education, 4K / 8K ultra-high definition video, VR / AR games, etc. Since then the typical requirements of the connected home have evolved. An 8K video stream requires at least 150 Mbps of bandwidth, which is four times more than 4K. Applications such as live streaming, online classes, and live streaming require very low latency, typically 50 milliseconds or less. In addition, home broadband connections need to be capable of supporting multi-service concurrent scenarios. High-quality Internet has become an indispensable part of people's lives, work, and entertainment. Fiber optic cable is the most preferred transmission medium in networks for its superior bandwidth, faster speed, and enhanced reliability. Fiber to the room (FTTR), which extends fiber connectivity from the "last mile" to the "last meter", offers customers a premium full fiber connection, enabling to meet network requirements of various home applications.
The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted tremendous opportunities for 5G in several sectors
The pandemic will clearly have sizeable repercussions on the 5G ecosystem in the short term (postponed spectrum auctions, delayed commercial launches and deployments, economic impact, etc.). At the same time, however, it has also revealed the essence of 5G’s role, and the many benefits this new technology can bring to several specific sectors, such as health, media, education, transport and retail sales.