Digital subscriber-line (xDSL) customer premises equipment shipments are set to grow 1100% – from one million in 2000 to 12.4 million in 2004. Germany will remain the largest market, followed by the United Kingdom and France.
One of the main reasons for growth will be unbundled access to the local loop. Connecting the circuit between the telecoms operator and the customer’s premises, it is an essential infrastructure for xDSL access.
“Fully unbundling the local loop, however, will not happen in the near future,” said IDC analyst Romolo Pusceddu.
Operators such as Telecom Italia and British Telecom enjoy a position of dominance on the local-loop and high-speed services. In most Western European countries, incumbent operators have a market share above 50%, so the infrastructure remains under their control. Competitors are confronted with high barriers, because any duplication of nationwide networks would require a huge financial investment.
“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 and symmetric digital subscriber line,” said Pusceddu.
‘xDSL Is Preparing for Liftoff’ by IDC analyzes the Western European market for the first half of 2000, and forecasts xDSL network ports and CPE shipments for 2000-2004. Vendors’ market shares and forecast figures are presented on a country-by-country basis. The bulletin also discusses the Western European local loop access and xDSL service.