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That was the world of “before”. There is now a before and after Covid-19. For many, 2020 will be a pivotal year in what was already a world of tremendous upheaval: the pandemic and its impact on lifestyles and modes of production only sharpened our questioning of the “classic” industrial world, of organisational, political, economic and societal paradigms. A new page in humanity’s history is no doubt being written, and it is up to us to build a positive and inclusive digital society.

If, for many, digital tech is the stuff that dreams are made of, for others it is also a source of deep fear. Anxiety-inducing pronouncements against new technologies abound, providing steady fodder for fake news and driving a real threat of regression and obfuscation. There was the incredible “rumour from Orleans” that claimed that the pandemic was triggered by frequencies emanating from 5G towers. We are seeing telecoms equipment being burned at the stake, like so many witches and heretics of yore.  

For more than 40 years, IDATE DigiWorld, Europe’s leading digital economy think tank, has been deciphering, analysing and modelling weak signals and trends both longstanding and emerging, cyclical and structuralin the digital economy.  

Backed by our 80 members, who include pre-eminent French, European and international corporations, institutions, regional representatives, academics and researchers, start-ups and SMEs, our association is an independent, all-inclusive and truly original platform for meaningful dialogue, both ballast and springboard for the actions taken by digital economy stakeholders in Europe.  

This year, drawing on the experience of our members and our clients, and with the support and expertise of our consultants and our economist and engineer researchers, we decided to provide the impetus for a collaborative European industrial and digital project. 

The macro trends that we observed in 2019 only served to confirm the global bipolarisation, embodied by the predominance of North American and Asian Internet giants. As a result, the Old Continent appears to have already lost the artificial intelligence battle – to name but one. We need to wake up to the fact that we are falling behind in 5G development, and its application in service and industrial verticals, and so running the risk of becoming a minor player in the global contest.  

And yet… Europe is a deep wellspring of talent, with a tremendous capacity to reboundand a rare power of innovation: all assets that we have showcased in our different market intelligence and analysis publications, and at our DigiWorld Events that have become highlights on the ICT industry’s annual calendar. Europe is also synonymous with actions and projects driven by exacting values and a commitment to positive and progressive construction – of which the endeavours of our members and clients serve as perfect examples.  

This then is the backdrop for the work that our think tank, our experts and our consultants will be doing this yearto build a proposal platform for an open and proactive industrial and digital European project. The underlying dialogue will be carried out in three working committees: Digital Sovereignty, Digital tech and the green transition, and Which 5G for Europe?   

The online edition of the DigiWorld Yearbook will thus be enhanced as the work of our think tank progresses, culminating in a detailed briefing of the findings at the DigiWorld Summit in December 2020. 

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the Yearbook, and very much look forward to seeing you all again soon at our various events.  


 Jacques MOULIN 


Yearbook 2020 IDATE DigiWorld Over the past 20 years, the DigiWorld Yearbook has become an industry reference for understanding the digital economy.

Every year, IDATE DigiWorld experts analyse the main events and key figures for digital tech (telecoms, Internet, media and Internet of Things) markets, and the sector’s stakeholders.

The DigiWorld Yearbook thus delivers a concise summary of digital market trends around the globe, enabling a forward-looking approach that incorporates vertical markets (transport, farming, health, industry…), geopolitical dynamics, geographic specialisation and positioning with respect to emerging technologies with the power to disrupt the status quo.

Ever new and improved, and regularly updated, this year’s edition is available online at: digiworldyearbook.idate.org