Chapter 8 Digitalization in the postal and delivery sector: between electronic substitution of letter mail and thriving e-commerce
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The postal sector encompasses activities performed by historic and new operators involving the collection, sorting, transport, and delivery of addressed mail, unaddressed mail, parcels and ex-press services. It has been one of the first sectors to experience the effects of digitalization on traditional business models. Strong competition from digital alternatives to physical services, such as e-mail, certified e-mail and online banking disciplines incumbents' pricing and has forced them to be innovative and efficient and to diversify their activity. Indeed, postal operators around the world have invested heavily in new operational technologies to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. They have also begun implementing purely digital platforms to generate new revenue, e.g. from e-government and e-health services and thereby started their own digital transformation. The convergence between the postal and the tel-ecommunications services also questions the traditional regulatory framework for postal services, especially the rationale for maintaining distinct requirements for Universal Service Obligations (USO) in different communications markets.

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