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HR: Europe Sticks to DSL Guns

European network operators will use next-gen DSL to deliver advanced broadband services to consumers, concludes Heavy Reading report

March 17, 2005

3 Min Read

NEW YORK -- The expected surge in U.S. telecom carrier deployments of fiber-optic access technology isn't likely to occur in Europe before the end of this decade, due to key differences in telco network design, concludes a major new study released today by Heavy Reading, the market research division of Light Reading Inc.

Next-Generation Broadband in Europe: The Need for Speed catalogs and analyzes Europe's emerging residential broadband environment from the perspective of both the wider region and the individual national markets. By charting the current status and projected progress of residential broadband initiatives, the report offers a clear and compelling view not only of which technologies are likely to drive the expansion of residential broadband services in Europe but also which service providers are best positioned to deliver those services to Europe's broadband users.

The report covers current and projected broadband deployment plans for nearly three dozen national and pan-European telecom carriers and cable network operators, including BT Group (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT), France Telecom (NYSE: FT), and Telefonica (NYSE: TEF).

"Despite the race to deliver higher bandwidth to their customers, most telecom operators in Europe do not believe they will need to upgrade to fiber access in the next three to four years," notes report author Graham Finnie, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading. Copper local access loops in Europe are significantly shorter than in the U.S., which means European operators can deliver higher data rates by using next-generation DSL technologies such as ADSL2+ and VDSL, instead of replacing copper loops with more expensive fiber, Finnie adds.

Other key findings of the report include:

Broadband adoption is surging throughout Europe, but there is still plenty of room for future growth. Total broadband lines grew by more than 65 percent in 2004, with the U.K., France, Switzerland, and Italy registering the highest growth. For the countries included in this report, overall broadband penetration by household is 21 percent, but there is wide variation, with Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland all above 30 percent, and Ireland and Greece below 10 percent. Among the largest national markets, Germany has the lowest penetration, at 16 percent.

Total broadband access lines in the region will nearly quadruple over the next five years. Heavy Reading projects that broadband subscribers in this region will grow from 38 million at the end of 2004 to 128 million at the end of 2009, representing a penetration rate of 69 percent. Growth is following a classic S-curve trajectory; our forecast assumes that over the next decade, growth will rise to 90 percent of households as incumbent telcos replace their existing networks with all-broadband networks.

The broadband service triple play of voice, data, and video will become strategically important in the battle for European market share. Almost every major broadband provider in Europe is either offering triple play or is planning to do so within the next 12 months.




Next-Generation Broadband in Europe: The Need for Speed, a 59-page report, is published in PDF format and costs $3,495. The price includes an enterprise license covering all of the employees at the purchaser's company.

For more information, or to request a free executive summary, contact:

Dave Williams
Sales Director, Heavy Reading
415-321-3750, ext. 30
[email protected]

Press/analyst contact:

Dennis Mendyk
Managing Director, Heavy Reading
201-587-2154
[email protected]

About Heavy Reading
Heavy Reading is an independent market research organization offering quantitative analysis of telecom technology to service providers, vendors, and investors. Its mandate is to provide the comprehensive competitive analysis needed today for the deployment of profitable networks based on next-generation hardware and software.

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