Beauty Contestants Sitting Pretty
Those countries that adopted the "beauty contest" method of awarding UMTS licenses have a more realistic 3G schedule and are in a "better state of preparedness" than those where the primary aim was to screw as much cash out of anyone willing to write a blank check.
Teleconomy reckons that countries such as Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark (What is it about those Scandinavians?) have more realistic start dates than the likes of Germany, Italy, and the U.K.
Not only that – there's a wee bit of a cost differential too. The cost of the awarded 3G licenses per head of population in Sweden is less than one U.S. cent. In Germany, the cost per head was US$657. The U.K. came close behind at $576 per person.
Not surprisingly, Teleconomy believes Sweden and Finland will experience speedier implementation and adoption of 3G services than anywhere else in Europe. And there's more bad news for the Brits: The U.K. will even lag behind Germany, largely thanks to the regulators' approval of network sharing.
All this hard realism leads Teleconomy to predict there will be fewer than 5 million 3G subscribers in western Europe by the end of 2004 and about 30 million by 2007, significantly less than the 2007 figure that appeared in the crystal ball of London-based World Markets Research Centre (see Apathy Attack to Blight 3G).
— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung