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ETNO first annual economic report - ETNO members remain leading investors in networks and services despite economic downturn


19 Nov 2010


Euro & Finance

BRUSSELS – ETNO members continue to account for two thirds of total sector investment, including in new high speed networks deployment, reveals the first ETNO Annual Economic Report unveiled today.

According to the report, jointly prepared with IDATE, total revenue in Europe’s telecoms sector decreased by 2.2% in 2009.  As a consequence of both the economic downturn and the regulatory uncertainty, investment has dropped by 6.4% in 2009 compared to 2008. According to first estimates for 2010, aggregated revenue will continue to decrease but at slower pace (less than one percent reduction) while investments should remain at the same level as in 2009.

“Despite the economic downturn, ETNO members continue to devote a significant share of turnover to investment and remain the leading investors in services and networks. This highlights ETNO members’ continuous contribution to the objectives of the Digital Agenda”, says Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

“Beyond the crisis, telecoms markets are also affected by structural changes such as revenue shifts away from traditional voice to new services and rapidly increasing take up of online content or social networking applications”, says Didier Pouillot, Head of Telecoms Economics Practice, IDATE.

“Within this challenging environment, it is essential that the policy framework encourages risky investments and allows for the development of new business models”, added Bartholomew.

The ETNO first Annual Economic Report also gives an overview of the contribution of ETNO members to the main goals of the Digital Agenda for Europe. The report highlights e-health and independent living solutions as well as smart energy applications as key innovation trends.

Main findings for ETNO 2010 Economic Report:


§                          Revenue has declined in 2009 by 2.2% compared to 2008, showing a better resistance to the crisis than the overall economy (current GDP dropped by 2.9% in 2009) and the other segments of the EU ICT industry. The revenue decline affects all EU markets but is more abrupt in the new member states which in 2008 still experienced an impressive growth (+4.4%) while a slowing growth was already observed in the Western markets.


§                           Both mobile and broadband penetration continued to increase in Europe (respectively by two and nine percent) while fixed telephony pursued its downward trend and declined by five per cent. Usage of Voice over IP services in Europe has increased by 638% over the past five years.


§                           Total investment in the EU telecoms sector amounted in 2009 to ?42.2 billion, which represents a decrease of 6.4% compared to 2008. The decrease concerns both the fixed and mobile segments. 


§                           Although their investments decreased more than the average, ETNO members continued to devote on average 12% of their revenues to investment and account for 65% of total sector investment. ETNO members devote a slightly greater revenue share to fixed investments (14.4%) than to mobile ones.


§                          The number of homes being equipped with high speed broadband continues to increase but a slower pace as operators tend to focus on encouraging consumers to take up existing high speed connections. ETNO members throughout Europe account for two third of the deployments of high speed access networks, confirming their key role in achieving the digital agenda objectives.


§                          On the retail services side, IPTV and online content continue to drive broadband take up while the use of social networking sites further increases.


For more information or to obtain a copy of the brochure, please consult or contact Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager ( or 32 2 227 10 82)