European Broadband Market Will Thrive Despite Short-Term Setbacks, IDC Says

LONDON – MAY 24, 2001 – According to IDC, while broadband deployment across Europe is undoubtedly behind schedule, its importance remains undiminished, and prospects for success within the industry remain bright in the medium term.


"Over the last 18 months, broadband deployment across Europe has suffered from a combination of poorly executed regulatory processes, technical/logistical issues, reticent incumbent telcos, a lack of specialized content and services, and a volatile economic climate. As a result, Europe has been left trailing in the wake of countries such as the United States and Korea in terms of live broadband connections," said Hamish Mackenzie, senior research analyst for IDC’s European Telecoms Services program.

However, contrary to much market sentiment, IDC believes there is still more than enough value in the broadband proposition to justify a positive outlook as far as market development to 2005 is concerned. There will be over 50 million broadband connections in Europe generating revenues of almost $15 billion by the end of 2005. Cable modem, digital subscriber line, and broadband fixed wireless access will remain the three principal technologies in the market for the duration of the forecast period, although many countries will start to see the deployment of direct fiber access toward 2005.

"None of the problems faced by the industry are insurmountable in the medium term, and while it is true that certain factors, such as market sentiment, are seldom directly controllable, many other variables are," Mackenzie said.

"Where finances permit, operators need to follow up their massive investments in networks and equipment with intellectual investment in creating the kind of added value content and services that will enable them to maintain and increase average revenue per user as basic broadband access begins to commoditize. These include interactive video, broadcast TV, gaming, integrated communication services, and a million others that have yet to be devised."

IDC also believes that some political involvement is becoming increasingly necessary as the market searches for a catalyst. "Governments also need to commit public funds to developing broadband awareness and municipal access if European countries are to take a global lead in the digital economy," Mackenzie said.

European Broadband Services, 2000-2005 (IDC #HT02H) forecasts the progression of broadband access connections and revenues in 16 countries across Western Europe over the next five years. It examines the technical, regulatory, and competitive issues that are affecting market development and looks at some of the services that may drive it. The report also profiles some of the key operators/service providers that are/will be offering broadband access and services. This report is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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