G5 and the digital transformation

G5 collaborative regulation – Key to unlocking inclusive digital transformation

G5 frameworks will power digital transformation

All signs now point to G5 collaborative regulation as the way forward and the best means to unlock the opportunity of digital transformation. ITU and the world’s ICT regulatory community have for more than two decades worked to understand how regulatory regimes have developed, and how they interact with national and regional economies. With digitalization sweeping all before it – and creating huge opportunity for economic growth that is vibrant, inclusive and sustainable – a new take on regulation is needed. And with a pandemic hitting developing countries hard, this need is especially urgent if economic recovery is to be best supported.

That is why, at this mid-way point in the SDG timeline, 2021 sees our global regulatory community coming together to mount a major campaign that brings G5 regulation within reach for more countries – and launching in the coming months, world-class, high-value tools designed to fast-track progress on the G5 journey.

G5 regulation – key characteristics

  • Innovative, open, incentive-based, cross-sector
  • Navigates towards broad, inclusive, meaningful connectivity
  • Centred on people, sustainability & long-term gains, not on profit-taking
  • Fosters vibrant markets & fast-evolving technologies, products & services that bring social & economic value
  • Finds market solutions to challenges as new technologies, & business models test existing regulatory paradigms
  • Builds consensus that protects consumers while encouraging market growth & innovation
  • Features an expanded, leadership role for the ICT regulator in driving cross-sector collaboration
  • Lends itself to connecting marginalized individuals, persons with disabilities, those communities of low-income or challenged by educational impoverishment, & remote or isolated populations lacking infrastructure.

Digitalization is fast revolutionizing productivity, employment, skills, services and markets. It changes the means of production, methods of delivery, lifestyles, patterns of consumption and the fabric of social intercourse. ICTs are now the foundation for every economic sector, for business performance and for national growth. This change is profound. G5 collaborative regulation addresses the complexity and the opportunity of this change through flexible and enabling policy frameworks. While G5 undoubtedly throws up challenges to the status quo, our global regulatory community has worked hard to benchmark countries’ progress and to map out step-by-step pathways that help them navigate change and speed them on their G5 journey.

G5 is delivering the goods – one telling example

G5 countries are outperforming G4 countries in penetration levels both for mobile and fixed broadband. In 2019, while G4 regulation remained the norm for vibrant mobile broadband markets, G5 countries outperformed them with an average penetration level ten per cent higher. Similarly, while G4 countries achieved fixed-broadband penetration ten percentage points higher than the world average in 2019, G5 countries showed in 2018 penetration rates twice as high as the world average and over 25 per cent higher than G4 peers.

How real is the shift to G5?

G4 is already the industry standard with scores of countries joining this category in recent years. But trends are clear – increasing numbers of countries are on the move to holistic, forward-looking G5 regulatory frameworks. Of those countries recently migrating to G5, increasing numbers are coming from outside Europe – including some that have leapfrogged direct into this category from G3.

Making the G5 journey: check out the G5 Benchmark for designing regulatory roadmaps