Wholesale/transport services

New EU States Well Connected

The expansion of the European Union has carriers focused on the potential for communications growth in the new eastern members. Two examples of this hit the news this week: See ETel's Expanding With Huawei and Interoute to Buy Euro Carrier.

As it happens, TeleGeography Inc. also picked this week to publish a study of supply and demand for international IP bandwidth in the region.

On the demand side, the study shows that the average IP bandwidth per user is 70 percent lower in the new EU states than in the rest of Europe, but the gap is closing. International backbone capacity to the 10 new members increased 293 percent between 2001 and 2003, compared with 167 percent in the original 15, according to Telegeography.

On the supply side, the study indicates oodles of spare capacity in the fiber backbones already installed between major cities, throughout the whole of Europe. The table below shows that only a small fraction of the lit capacity is currently being used in IP backbones, and that a lot of fiber hasn’t been lit yet.

Table 1:
Amount of IP bandwidth (Gbit/s) Capacity of lit fiber (Gbit/s) Potential capacity of lit and unlit fiber (Gbit/s) Number of Bandwidth Providers
Old EU Cities
London 550 9,515 276,530 33
Paris 399 9,240 254,790 24
Frankfurt 320 10,245 357,600 32
Amsterdam 267 8,140 253,440 24
New EU Cities
Prague 32 3,798 141,600 16
Warsaw 14 3,733 141,600 13
Budapest 13 3,413 148,800 13
Potential EU Cities
Bucharest 2 1,533 54,720 6
Sofia 0 353 23,040 3
Source: Telegeography, International Bandwidth 2004

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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