IDC Predicts the Western European Cellular Services Market Will Reach $84 Billion by 2003

LONDON, UK, May 24, 1999 — According to the latest forecasts from International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European cellular services market will grow from $42 billion in 1998 to reach nearly $84 billion by 2003, representing an annual average growth rate of 11%. The Western European total subscriber base in 1998 was nearly 92 million, and with a compound annual growth rate of 13.5%, IDC forecasts there will be more than 211 million subscribers at the end of the forecast period – in other words, over 50% of Europeans will have a mobile phone by 2003.

"The cellular market in Europe is maturing rapidly," said Giulia Rancati, research manager for IDC's European Wireless and Mobile Communications research. "At the end of 1998, just under half of mobile subscribers were consumers, but by 2003 it is expected that this will increase to almost two-thirds in the region as a whole." The increasing shift of voice traffic from fixed networks to cellular networks, along with increased revenues generated by data services and value-added services, is one of the main reasons behind the growth of the market value.

IDC forecasts that around 2% of the total Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) subscriber base is currently using data services, but predicts an increase to 12% by 2003. The convergence of mobile communication with IP and the launch of General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) in the most developed GSM markets will be the main drivers behind an expected surge in market growth in 2001. GPRS will be available from the second half of the year 2000, but its deployment together with the handsets' availability may take a few additional months. Business subscribers will be the main users of data services over the forecast period.

European Cellular Market Assessment, Review and Forecasts 1998-2003 (IDC #WHW02F) provides analysis of the cellular services market in Western Europe and measures usage by end users (consumers and businesses). The report also details spending on cellular services and provides market sizing and forecasts for both revenues and connections across 17 countries. Connections and revenues data are segmented by medium/large business, small business, and consumer markets, as well as by network type (GSM-900/1800 and analog) and services side (voice, data, and SMS).

European Cellular Market Assessment, Review and Forecasts 1998-2003 is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

About IDC

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