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Western European Broadband Forecast

According to a new IDC study, broadband penetration in Western Europe will continue to surge in coming years. By 2009, 46 percent of Western European households will have broadband access, compared to 20 percent at the end of 2004. Wide availability, broad choice, growing competition, affordable pricing, and increasing end-user awareness have been fundamental in the development of the high-speed Internet market into a mass market. However, �broadband is no longer just about high-speed Internet access, as it has evolved into an enabler of a wide bouquet of IP-based services,� said Jan Hein Bakkers, senior analyst. �Although Internet access will remain the most important application for the short to medium term, services like voice over broadband and IPTV are also destined to become cornerstones of successful broadband strategies." Operators are betting heavily on these services to present new business opportunities, to make up for the fall in prices of basic broadband Internet access and decreasing traditional revenue streams. Operators will provide bundles of services to attract new customers and retain existing clients. However, they need to be careful that the bundling opportunity does not turn into a bundling challenge, as the poor performance of one service can backfire on the entire service package. By 2009, there will be more than 92 million broadband connections, up from 40 million at the end of 2004. 83 percent of these will be provided to the residential market. In 2009, basic broadband access services will represent a $37 billion revenue opportunity in Western Europe.

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