Bienvenue to €287B

9:00 AM -- Pay attention, because this is worth a lot of money. The European Union, otherwise known as the Disunited States of Europe, has a telecom services market worth €287 billion (US$382 billion), according to new statistics for 2006 from the European Commission .

Mobile services account for €133 billion ($177 billion) in service revenues in the EU's 25 member states, while traditional fixed-line voice services were worth €83 billion ($110 billion) last year. Broadband services raked in €59 billion ($78.6 billion) for carriers and ISPs, while the EU's cable operators generated €12 billion ($16 billion) in sales.

A couple more statistics to make your head spin: There are 478 million mobile phones in use in the EU, giving the Union a mobile penetration rate of 103 percent, as the total population is 464 million; and the average broadband penetration rate among the 25 member states in 15.7 percent, with the Netherlands boasting the highest rate, 29.8 percent, and Greece the lowest, at 3.3 percent.

Light Reading plans to dish up a lot more European information once our new sub-site, Light Reading Europe, launches in the coming weeks.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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