04:43 PM

Report: European Telecom Market Continues To Grow, But At A Slower Rate

The i2010 initiative is likely to include new amendments in 2007 that are designed to spur competition.

The European telecommunications market is showing a sign of a slowdown in areas where broadband is already in widespread use, according to a paper announced Thursday by

The 1240-page report is a sweeping review of EU telecom, mobile, Internet and broadband markets and included all EU telecom segments from new technologies and product bundles to wireless developments and the regulatory environment.

Noting that the EU's new regulatory framework i2010 initiative is likely to include new amendments in 2007 that are designed to spur competition, the market research firm said regulatory controls are likely to increase the competitive environment and produce more services and offerings for consumers.

Reportlinker said new data-rich applications including mobile TV and HSDPA are placing pressure on the development of WiMAX networks across Europe.

The report cited progress in the development of Next Generation Networks (NGN) as providers offer IP packet-based full service typology. "The principal innovator in this sector is British Telecom, which opened the first stage of its 21CN all-IP network in November," the report states. BT's approach, Reportlinker said, will likely spread elsewhere in Europe and is expected to be implemented in the Netherlands this year.

The market researcher said the overall EU broadband growth rate slowed to about 9 percent per quarter in 2006, compared to 15 percent per quarter in 2005.

Triple play bundles -- TV, Internet, and fixed voice -- were in growing use throughout Europe and Reportlinker predicted mobile service will be added to those bundles at an increased rate in the coming months.

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