6G Research Visions, No. 3

White Paper on Business of 6G

led by Seppo Yrjölä

Executive Summary

Developing products, services and vertical applications for the future digitized society in the 6G era requires a multidisciplinary approach and a re-definition of how we create, deliver and consume network resources, data and services for both communications and sensing purposes. This development will change and disrupt the traditional business models and ecosystem roles of digital service providers, as well as open the market for key stakeholders in the 6G era such as digital service operators, cloud operators and resource brokers. Furthermore, sustainable development is a highly complex area, which will call for major changes in the industrialized society in the long run.

This white paper discusses unprecedented opportunities of enabling and empowering multiple stakeholders to actively participate in the future 6G ecosystem via novel sustainable open ecosystemic business models with flexible integration of long tail services with tailored performance attributes. This research adopts a qualitative scenario planning method and portrays three scenario themes resulting in a total of 12 scenarios for the futures of the 6G business. We present both optimistic and pessimistic scenarios and assess their probability, plausibility and preferability. By focusing on key trends, their interactions, and irreducible uncertainties, scenario building generates perspectives for the futures within which alternative 6G business strategies were developed and assessed for a traditional incumbent mobile network operator and a novel 6G digital service provider stemming from redefined sustainable economics.

Value-capture in the 6G era requires understanding the dynamics of platforms and ecosystems. Results indicate that, to reach some of the preferred futures, we should pay attention to the privacy and security issues related to business and regulation needs; public/governmental, corporate, community and user(s) perspectives and aims of governance; ecosystem configuration related to users, decentralized business models and platforms; user empowerment; and the role of location-specificity of services.

Highlights

  • Value-capture in the 6G era requires understanding the dynamics of platforms and ecosystems.
  • Access to data and data ownership are increasingly the major factors in value creation, and limiting such access is a means of control and restricting empowerment.
  • By 2030, we could find greater societal focus on the sustainability, nature of humanity, values, creativity and self/social fulfillment and empowerment.
  • In profiting from 6G innovation, modularity and complementarity of technological solutions are of importance. This raises difficult openness and transparency as well as collaboration vs. competition issues especially in the use of data and algorithms, such as AI, as evolution of complementarities of different kind are needed for reaching the network effect.
  • 6G business ecosystem that aim to bring together stakeholders to solve systemic sustainability problems will need open ecosystem focused value configuration and decentralized poly-nodal power configuration focusing long tail of specialized user requirements that crosses a variety of industries.

List of Contributors

Editors
  • Seppo Yrjölä, University of Oulu, Nokia Enterprise, Oulu, Finland
  • Petri Ahokangas, University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Oulu, Finland
  • Marja Matinmikko-Blue, University of Oulu, Centre for Wireless Communications, Oulu, Finland
Contributors in alphabetical order
  • Risto Jurva, University of Oulu, Centre for Wireless Communications, Oulu, Finland
  • Vivek Kant, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, IDC School of Design, Mumbai, India
  • Pasi Karppinen, University of Oulu, Information Systems, Oulu, Finland
  • Marianne Kinnula, University of Oulu, Information Systems, Oulu, Finland
  • Harilaos Koumaras, National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos, Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications, Athens, Greece
  • Mika Rantakokko, University of Oulu, Centre for Wireless Communications, Oulu, Finland
  • Volker Ziegler, Nokia Bell Labs, München, Germany
  • Abhishek Thakur, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad, India
  • Hans-Jürgen Zepernick, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden
This white paper has been written by an international expert group, led by the Finnish 6G Flagship program at the University of Oulu, within a series of twelve 6G white papers to be published in their final format in 2020.

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