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Ansgar Schlautmann
30 October 2023

When it comes to digital transformation, CSPs have much to gain from the new opportunities arising from collaborating by sharing data, within other CSPs in the Telco sector and beyond.

There are great expectations from developments in this area, and also from Governments. While, on one side, the regulator is as committed as ever to protecting consumers, on the other, they are investing heavily to support the development of data sharing and the digital economy that depends on it. This article looks at the steps that such regulators as the European Union have taken in this regard. It also provides some examples of initiatives from industries beyond Telco, with many organizations now eagerly taking advantage of this fertile ground. In so doing, it illustrates how data sharing makes it possible to innovatively address the key priorities of CSPs, such as moving away from integrated companies, improving sustainability, and generating new revenue streams.

The long-time European Union push for data sharing

Data collaboration is a trigger for business transformation and a source of new revenue streams across sectors. According to the World Economic Forum’s interviews with 250 CSOs (link), collaboration over data is one of the top five “inflexion points on the radar of Chief Strategy Officers,” trends that “push you to make fundamental change in your business strategy.” These results corroborate Capgemini’s 2022 findings in the Data Sharing Masters report (link), which also indicates that the Telco sector has high expectations in this regard. 

The intuition for data sharing being such a powerful force for change in business, however, has deeper roots than the business analysis of the last few years, roots that may deepen in unexpected places, such as policymaking. For more than a decade, the European Union has been putting its weight behind data collaboration for the Union to become a leader in a data-driven society. The EU Data Strategy (link) claims that “creating a single market for data will allow it to flow freely within the EU and across sectors for the benefit of businesses, researchers, and public administrations.” The EU expects the value of the data economy to grow to €829 billion by 2025, which is 2.75 times what it was in 2018 (when it was €301bn, or 2,4% of GDP). 

The current of policy development that gave Europe its 2020 data strategy hails back to 2003, when Member States decided to start sharing non-sensitive government data (not personal, not confidential, and not concerning national security) with citizens and businesses, with a series of Public Sector Information (PSI) Directives. At the time of the first directive, the main drivers for this move were transparency and government accountability, but over time, focus has shifted toward a growing awareness of how instrumental data is to business, entrepreneurs, etc. Since then, Capgemini has been supporting the European Union in such projects as (link), which has been promoting the re-use of government public data resources – most commonly referred to as “open data” – for nearly a decade.

From open data to data sharing

More and more often, European legislation tackles data sharing, whether directly (e.g., with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Governance Act (applicable from this September) and the Data Act) or indirectly, as a side element to other matters (e.g., in the Data Services Act, the Data Markets Act, and, more famously, some elements of the AI Act, with regard to the data being used to train the algorithms). The abundance of regulation is far from crippling a market. In fact, legislation is like the brakes that enable you to drive faster.

The EU has since been progressively moving from fostering the availability of government data to stimulating data sharing in the private sector. In support of this, between 2019 and 2022, Capgemini led for the Commission its first data-sharing program: the Support Centre for Data Sharing (SCDS). 

Legislation was followed from practical supporting actions, too. In 2022, the EU established the “Digital Europe” funding program, which earmarked hundreds of millions of euros for data-sharing experimentation and support. Among its projects is the successor to the SCDS: the “Data Spaces Support Center” (DSSC). Once again, Capgemini is at the center of its activities, as the only global system integrator on the team. DSSC is responsible for selecting the technical standards, processes, and legal terms that will become the building blocks of reference for all EU-funded data-sharing initiatives. Among the Centre’s objectives is to release to the public all these reusable elements to accelerate the development of data sharing practices in Europe as much as possible.

Finally, in autumn, the Commission is expected to kick off another major supporting action, this time aimed at building and maintaining an ambitious suite of open-source software components for data sharing, called “Simpl” (link). Being open-source, Simpl will be available to anyone to accelerate their deployment of data-sharing solutions. The Commission itself will operate a SaaS platform based on Simpl, to be used by its own data-sharing initiatives.

From a supportive regulatory environment to enabling the industry: how the other sectors prepare to make the most out of the data-sharing revolution

The pressure for timely and optimal preparations for the opportunity arising from data sharing resounds across industries. Consequently, many players have launched exploratory initiatives to experiment data sharing collaboratively. The goal is not to solve every possible data-sharing problem; on the contrary, the first step is to understand whether the technology is ready and whether the necessary processes and legal frameworks are in place. Companies – often competitors, too – come together in consortia to experiment sharing in a safe environment and with use cases that are a great fit for learning.  

Cross-industry associations, such as Gaia-X (link), the International Data Spaces Association (link), and MyData (link), are writing the technology, process, and legal best practices and standards to enable all sectors and dedicated lighthouse projects to put those standards into practice for experimentation. Capgemini is a member of and contributor to all three of these associations. 

In digital and cloud services, “Structura-X,” which we are also part of, explores the infrastructural layer underneath the new data-sharing services, which requires federated cloud services. 

Several sectors have started dedicated projects, exploring data-sharing use cases specific to their context. In Automotive, for example, the “Catena-X” consortium (link) brings together hundreds of car manufacturers and OEMs to explore services for driver and passenger safety, or to calculate scope 3 emissions along the supply chain, or share real-time hazard information, such as sudden braking, captured by car computers on the road. Capgemini is active in Catena-X through many of our automotive clients. 


Facing stagnant B2C revenues and the need for strong investment in new networks, CSPs are looking for new revenue streams. Monetizing the vast amounts of data they manipulate has long been seen as a good opportunity. This is confirmed by the commercialization of both location and audience data during the last ten plus years. Now CSPs need to expand the value they get from data. In a future article in the series, we will explore how the lessons from the EU and the changing environment for data ecosystems could be applied to identify opportunities and overcome challenges.

TelcoInsights is a series of posts about the latest trends and opportunities in the telecommunications industry – powered by a community of global industry experts and thought leaders.


Ansgar Schlautmann

VP, Head of Telecommunications, Capgemini Invent Germany
Ansgar is Vice President at Capgemini Invent and leads the Telecommunications practice in Germany. Within his 25 years of experience, he supports Telco companies to adopt and profit from service innovation and connected ecosystems.