5G, 6G and the Future of Digital Services
This is the title of a new peer-reviewed book which has been published online on 23 October by Palgrave MacMillan. It can be downloaded on my website in the download section and the open-source link at https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-33191-6
For this book, edited by Petri Ahokangas and Annabeth Aagaard, I have authored the chapter 9 “Toward Anticipatory Regulation and Beyond” and co-authored the chapter 10 “Sovereignty and 6G.”
Short summary of Chapter 9, “Toward Anticipatory Regulation and Beyond”
Authors: Georg Serentschy (Serentschy Advisory Services GmbH, Austria), Paul Timmers (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK) and Marja Matinmikko-Blue (Infotech Oulu Focus Institute, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Regulation is and was always contested and discussion about regulation hovers between ‘more’ or ‘less’ of it. There are the advocates of blanket deregulation, and on the other hand, there is the regulatory orthodoxy, the group who want to immediately press every innovation into a regulatory straight jacket. This is ostensibly done with justifications such as protecting consumers from the supposedly harmful consequences of an innovation. Yes, and then there is also a public lament that there is no “Silicon Valley” in Europe and that start-ups very often emigrate precisely because they expect better conditions there. In other words, aren’t we in Europe shooting ourselves in the foot again and again with often excessive or wrongly placed regulations and at the same time complaining that innovations and new jobs are largely at home in other parts of the world? What if we would look at regulation from a European digital sovereignty and strategic autonomy angle?
Developments in the field of electronic communications services and networks are driven by a seemingly never-ending stream of technological advances and the resulting product and service innovations and – not to forget – hypes. A key driver of this development is the progressive evolution of electronics and software with Moore’s Law as the underlying paradigm.
Europe as a regulatory superpower, combined with the Brussels Effect, behaves like a referee, but the referee does not make the game! We need to get much more on the playing field in Europe! Europe’s digital policy approach is too focused on regulation. The idea of achieving industrial competitiveness and innovation by regulating others was not thought through to its conclusion.
Against the backdrop of the rapid technological developments driven by Moore’s Law, it is not a matter of “more of the same” but of a radical institutional renewal of regulatory work.
The traditional approach taken by representatives from the regulatory orthodoxy (most policy makers and many regulators) is characterized by a policy that is often isolated and disconnected from markets and innovation. What is crucial is how a smart combination of regulation with innovation and industrial policy can be achieved, and what the necessary political pre-conditions and institutional structures are for this to happen.
My contribution to the new 6G book outlines answers to the question of how policy and regulatory approaches can be de-siloed in a digital ecosystem ready for a 6G world.