Prospects bright for broadband – despite setbacks
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The latest research says that while broadband deployment across Europe is behind schedule, its importance remains undiminished, and prospects for success are bright.

“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 senior research analyst Hamish Mackenzie.

Contrary to market sentiment, however, 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.

The big three
Cable modem, digital subscriber line (DSL), and broadband fixed wireless access (BFWA) will remain the three principal technologies in the market for 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.

Intellectual investment
“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.”

Governments must co-operative
As the market searches for a catalyst, some political involvement is increasingly necessary . “Governments 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,” said Mackenzie.

European Broadband Services, 2000-2005 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 or will be offering broadband access and services.

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, the company forecasts worldwide markets and trends. 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.


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