Regulating digital platforms to encourage competition

Digital platforms deliver digital services such as e-commerce, social media, and a wide variety of cloud-based services. Until very recently digital platforms were virtually unregulated, but now it is recognised that the rise of these platforms has also created problems. There is now a growing consensus that this should change – specifically how should digital[…]

Plum Insight – The economics of consumer Internet of Things security

Connected consumer devices – such as smart TVs, smart thermostats and connected appliances – are becoming increasingly common. Yet the cybersecurity measures on these devices are often lacking: many such devices contain serious vulnerabilities that leave them open to attack. This imposes costs not only on the owners of such devices, but upon third parties[…]

The economics of the security of consumer-grade IoT products and services

Adding connectivity to physical devices can significantly enhance their usefulness: for instance, it can allow remote operation or monitoring of the device, improve user convenience, or increase energy efficiency. As a result, the number of connected devices has grown extremely rapidly. This growth has been accompanied by increasing concerns about cybersecurity and privacy, and nowhere[…]

Online advertising in the UK

Report co-authored with Stephen Adshead The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) commissioned Plum Consulting to provide an independent analysis of the structure of the online advertising sector; the movement of data, content and money through the online advertising value chain; and potential harms that can arise from online advertising. This work feeds[…]

Plum Insight: Maximising spectrum efficiency with private LTE

Despite continuing growth in mobile network coverage, there are many areas where enterprise users suffer from no, or poor, connectivity. Manufacturing, agricultural and transport industries in these regions suffer from their remote locations, and they often find that their ability to benefit from Industry 4.0 – the automation through connected machines – is limited. This[…]

A Taxing Problem – the impact of tax on small businesses

Following our previous reports on the total cost of administration to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and the impact of late payments, this study examines the issue of taxation on SMEs. For many new and small companies, profit margins can be very low, particularly when the cost of finance and building up stock is taken[…]

The Domino Effect – the impact of late payments

This report examines the issue of late payments, which can have significant impacts on smaller businesses. Based on a survey of around 3000 companies across 11 countries, our analysis indicates that 11.0% of all invoices issued by SMEs are paid late, equivalent to a total of USD 1.01 trillion per year. Worse, 7.5% of invoices[…]

Sweating the Small Stuff – the impact of the bureaucracy burden

This report examines the impacts of administration – including that caused by regulation – on SMEs, particularly looking at how much effort and cost these companies have to spend to comply with requirements. Across the eleven countries studied, the the size of the administrative burden varies considerably, but, on average, requires around 120 man-days and[…]

Plum Insight: Video content and broadband – a marriage made in heaven

In the developed world there is now strong convergence between the retail pay TV markets and the retail broadband markets in which suppliers in both markets increasingly compete for the spend of the same consumers. This trend is likely to continue as the capability of fixed and mobile broadband networks continues to improve rapidly over[…]

Gotta Cover ’em All: can Pokémon help deliver universal broadband coverage?

Mobile network planning is by now a pretty well established process – operators first roll out coverage to areas where there is a large demand, and then add additional equipment or spectrum in areas where the coverage layer doesn’t provide enough capacity. The initial coverage investment is restricted to where enough people are willing to[…]