Western European xDSL Market Is Undergoing Vertiginous Growth, IDC Says

AMSTERDAM — NOVEMBER 17, 2000 — According to IDC, generic digital subscriber line customer premises equipment (xDSL CPE) shipments will grow more than 1,100%, from 1 million in 2000 to 12.4 million in 2004. This vertiginous growth will affect all Western European countries and will be mainly driven by the unbundling of the local loop and strong price and service competition among all xDSL players. Germany will remain the largest market throughout the forecast period, followed by the United Kingdom and France.


The two key xDSL market trends are local loop access and the competitive situation. Over the last few years, xDSL has become part of everyday discussion in broadband access service deployment. One of the main issues is unbundled access to the local loop. The local loop (e.g., copper pairs or fiber optic cables), which connects the physical circuit between the telecommunication operator and the customer premises, is an essential xDSL access infrastructure for incumbent operators and third parties (competitors).

"Fully unbundling the local loop, however, will not happen in the near future," said Romolo Pusceddu, research analyst with IDC's European Data Communications Program. Incumbent operators such as Telecom Italia and British Telecommunication (BT) enjoy a position of dominance on the local-loop and high-speed telecommunication services. In most Western European countries, incumbent operators have a market share above 50%. Therefore, the local loop infrastructure mainly remains under the incumbents' control, and competitors are confronted with high entry barriers. This results from the fact that new infrastructures cannot be set up in a reasonable time. "Furthermore, any duplication of nationwide incumbents' networks requires a very large financial investment," Pusceddu said.

"Unbundling access to the local loop will increase competition and could speed up the introduction of faster Internet access services, such as asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) and symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL)," Pusceddu said. In addition, unbundling access to the local loop will increase the efficiency of the telecommunications market and accelerate development of Internet services.

xDSL Is Preparing for Liftoff (IDC #23049) analyzes the Western European xDSL market for the first half of 2000 and forecasts xDSL network ports and CPE shipments for 2000?2004. Both vendors' current market shares and forecast figures are presented on a country-by-country basis. In addition, the bulletin discusses the Western European local loop access and xDSL service. This bulletin 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 www.idc.com.

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