New member states create strategic opportunities for telcos across Europe, says IDC

July 21, 2004

1 Min Read

PRAGUE and LONDON -- The combined Western European and Central and Eastern European telecommunications markets reached $245 billion in 2003. According to a new IDC study, this figure is expected to reach $281 billion by 2008, as a combination of new fixed and mobile access products emerge on the market. Continuing privatization and liberalization, especially in the fixed-line arena, should spur increased competition and make data, Internet, and other telephony services more widely available to home and business end users throughout the newly enlarged EU.

As might be expected, Western Europe accounted for the lion's share of the revenue due to the size of its population and its head start with fixed-line infrastructure. For instance, according to the new study, PSTN/ISDN penetration in Western Europe is nearly 60%; in the new EU member states of Central and Eastern Europe, it hovers around 30%. Along these same lines, broadband connections in Western Europe outnumber those in the new member states by more than 25 times, resulting in a household penetration rate that is around 4.5 times greater.

"With Central and Eastern European markets, it's important to realize that they are growing rapidly, especially with regards to mobile as well as Internet and data services," said Jill Finger Gibson, research manager, European Telecommunications Services, IDC EMEA. "Nevertheless, most CEE countries still have a way to go, which should translate into opportunities over the next few years."

IDC

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