1997 was the year were liberalization and deregulation of telecommunication markets in major European countries was initiated causing significant impact for companies in this industry including the dominant national (mostly state-owned) incumbent. Reason enough for BearingPoint’s “Telecommunications Outlook” to look back and highlight the development of the telecommunication market of five major European economies (UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany), South Korea, the US and the OECD between 1997 and 2016. The infographic illustrates the evolution per country based on socio-demographic, financial and industry specific key performance indicators.

During this period the regulatory authorities have significantly influenced the market development. The key findings are:

  • The telecommunication markets have been opened up to competition resulting in the co-existence of incumbents, alternative providers and new players which creates high pressure on pricing levels.
  • Telecommunication services became technically available (e. g. through frequency management) and economically affordable for mass-markets (e. g. via price regulation).
  • A significant shift from fixed line to mobile and broadband oriented communication.
  • Fiber penetration has increased substantially in Korea, Spain and France whereas in other markets (e.g. Italy and Germany) the penetration levels remain lower.
  • The provision of substituting services by Over-the-Top (OTT) providers (especially messaging services) led to a dramatic decrease in revenue growth rates in the telecommunication industry.

Today key challenges for the regulatory authorities are to maintain the balance between OTTs and “pure” network operators, to act as a catalyst to encourage new technologies – such as 5G, SDN (software defined networks), NFV (network functionality virtualization), and to oversee fair competition in the telecommunication markets.

A digital version of the infographic is available. The print version with the size A0 will be sent to your address if you provided this to us.