According to a new study by IDC, 2002 was a catalyst year for the European broadband market. The number of connections catapulted to 13.4 million in Europe, which is more than twice the figure of the previous year, and revenues for broadband Internet access reached 3700 million.
“An increasingly widespread availability of broadband services, greater customer choice, more affordable packages, and increasing Internet usage were the building blocks of last year’s growth,” said Jan Hein Bakkers, senior analyst for IDC’s European Broadband Markets and Technologies service. “As the market is maturing, an increasing number of operators will have to differentiate their product portfolios, to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.”
In the near term, this increasing choice will prove to be a key driver for the market, while in the longer term the development of broadband specific content and applications will ensure further growth. Fuelled by these factors, the number of connections will grow to almost 62 million in 2007, representing 2500 million in revenues.
· DSL was the preferred technology, as it accounted for more than 70 per cent of all European connections and it will remain the dominant broadband access method throughout the forecast period.
· As a result of this, incumbents will remain important players in the broadband landscape, not only as the provider of wholesale DSL network connections, but also on the retail level through their ISP activities.
. Although sustained regulatory efforts to stimulate competition will have some effect, the current position, size, and marketing power of incumbent operators will ensure their leading status.
· Although the five major countries account for almost two out of every three broadband connections in Western Europe, they are only in the middle when it comes to penetration. At the end of 2002 Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden were Europe’s leading countries in terms of uptake.