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Introduction7World2000

Introduction7World2000 Here is the first edition of DigiWorld. Thepublication, which is also available in electronicformat (1) , draws its inspiration from the principle ofa geo-strategic atlas which combines up to date,economic, social and demographic data withanalyses of the year's key events.This being said, why has the IDATE Foundation (2)chosen to support the creation and publication ofDigiWorld? Two primary reasons exist, the first ofwhich is the increasing impact of the electroniccommunications sectors. While this is now aforegone conclusion, we do have the sense thatjournalists and politicians are perhaps not fullyaware, or convinced, of the veritable scope of thesesectors. Not so much in terms of a body oftechnological developments, the future generatorsof still virtual wealth, as in terms of a body ofconcrete economic activities sustained byconsiderable markets and which represent knownindustrial powers. In light of this, then, DigiWorldaddresses itself to opinion makers and to all thosewho, whether or not they belong to the IT sector,wish to benefit from an annual source of referenceon the evolution of the markets and the playersinvolved.The second argument in favour of an annualpublication of DigiWorld issues from the remarkableeffervescence of news involving the telecoms,Internet and electronic media markets. Few sectorshave been the focus of so much attention, a factwhich appears only natural given the radical depthof transformation of the markets' rules of play, alongwith the dizzying rate of innovation that isaccompanying it. These two factors make forparticularly fascinating reading. While justifying thedaily avalanche of news, which is impossible toignore, it can, however, lead to great difficulties indiscerning the announcements which confirmtrends or speak of break-ups, and those whichemerge some time later as purely anecdotal. Here,then, DigiWorld endeavours to offer players,operators, manufacturers, financiers and publicpolicy managers, an annual opportunity to beprovided with a review of the year gone by, theemerging trends, as well as a particularly poignantset of reference data.DigiWorld is divided into two main sections. Thefirst constitutes an assembly of data on the size andevolution of the various selected markets, theplayers and the weight of the world's primaryregions and countries. While the data is developedand commented upon on the left hand page, theright hand page provides a graphic representation,in either chart or, more often, map format. Thesecond section is dedicated to analysis. For theyear 2000, we have selected three subjects which,at the time of writing last autumn, appeared as themost significant and problematic of the last twelvemonths: the great expectations and difficult firststeps of mobile Internet, the widespread interest ine-marketplaces and, lastly, a chronicle of thetelecoms sector, with particular focus being laid onthe merger and acquisition trend.I must, however, beg a certain indulgence for thismaiden edition of DigiWorld. We are still far fromhaving fully achieved the way in which we hope tosupply all the useful and pertinent data relating tothe sectors we have chosen. A great many optionsremain, in terms of the possibility of extending ourdata to themes such as e-commerce or to othernations. In the same vein, analyses in future issuescould well be more elaborate and focus moresharply on a critical assessment of the key themesand trends of the year gone by.Nevertheless, we do hope that this Beta edition ofDigiWorld will whet your appetite, and that you willshare your comments and suggestions for its futurewith us. It goes without saying that DigiWorld'sultimate value lies in its role of ongoing monitor.Yves GASSOTDirector, IDATE(1) May be obtained via IDATE's website: www.idate.org(2) According to set formulae, the data provided in DigiWorld, as well as the analyses and opinions it contains, in no wayconstitute a formal commitment on the part of the Foundation's member corporations.© IDATE www.idate.fr

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