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Significant slow down of investment in EU telecoms sector in 2007


01 Sep 2008


Innovation & Enterprise
Trade & Society

BRUSSELS – Latest data for 2007 show a significant slow down in investment in new telecoms services and networks in the EU. Total sector investment has increased by 1.4 % in 2007 against 4.1% in 2006. The five main EU markets register an overall reduction of investment by 3.8%[1][1].

ETNO’s 41 member companies in 34 countries accounted collectively for 72% of total sector investment which amounted to 47 billion ? in 2007. Data shows that ETNO members’ investment  grew by 2%, which is more than the sector average, and represented 15% of their turnover. Overall telecoms revenue in the EU increased by 1.7% in 2007 compared to 2.3% in 2006 and 3 % in 2005.

“This slowing investment growth is a worrying trend for the competitiveness of Europe which is already lagging behind in the deployment of high speed broadband networks. It is essential that the revised telecoms rules currently debated in the European Parliament and Council strike the right balance to encourage risky investment and do not create further uncertainty”, said Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

On the eve of an important vote in the European Parliament on the Review of the EU Telecoms Package, ETNO calls on Members of the Parliament to keep timely investment in next generation access networks in Europe at the top of the agenda.

“Well established network operators should not be the only ones to take the investment risk. All operators should be encouraged to deploy new and alternative networks to the customer. Mandatory access rules should apply only in those areas where competition between networks is not feasible and it should be based on a fair risk sharing between investors and access seekers”, added Bartholomew.  

“The very slow investment growth for 2007 can be mainly explained by a strong drop in investment in the mobile sector – up to 9% reduction in the five main EU markets – but also by the slow pace of deployment of the new fibre access networks”, said Didier Pouillot, from IDATE, the European Institute for Telecommunications and Media, which compiled the data for ETNO’s third Facts and Figures Brochure to be released at the ETNO Innovation Day on 18 September.

The ETNO third Facts and Figures brochure will provide an overview of revenue and investment in the telecoms sector for 2006 and 2007 as well as of main innovation trends by ETNO member companies.

The ETNO Innovation Day will consist of a presentation of sector data by IDATE and a series of interactive demonstrations by company experts of leading-edge broadband based services in fields such as online content, fixed-mobile convergence, environmental protection, assistance to elderly, e-health, video-conferencing, etc. Participating companies will include among others Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telefonica, Portugal Telecom and TeliaSonera. 


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