Welcome to the first issue of TelecomsEurope. Over the coming months and years we will be reporting on all aspects of fixed, mobile and hybrid communications across western, central and eastern Europe. For too long the European telecommunications scene has lacked its own voice, with much of the media concentrating on what it perceives as more dynamic markets such as Asia and the Americas. Yet Europe has been and will continue to be a major force in the global telecoms market.
The region is home to many of the world's leading telecoms equipment manufacturers and is the crucible of some of the most significant technologies, regulatory initiatives and market innovations that currently inform the development of the global industry overall. It is the heartland of GSM, the world's most successful digital mobile technology, and it is leading the world in the deployment of 3G mobile communications.
European administrations were the first to embrace the new world of deregulation and competition in telecommunications and still today continue to bring new and pioneering ideas to the market place. And the western European marketplace is once again investing in new equipment and technology. According to a recent report, after a period of slow growth, western European operators are planning to spend $27 billion on network infrastructure over the next five years, accounting for a significant share of global network capital expenditure. Investment in telecoms and IT solutions to serve enterprises is also climbing to new heights as the switch over to IP networking gathers pace and the benefits of enterprise mobility begin to be appreciated by a wider audience.
The regional telecommunications market is about to embark on a period of almost unprecedented change. Demand for voice, data and multimedia connectivity continues to grow. New fixed, mobile, nomadic and converged services are planned, and many operators are looking to make enormous investments in next-generation networks. In the UK, for example, BT is planning to invest Â£10 billion in deploying a next-generation network that will deliver new and exciting services to homes and businesses. Elsewhere across Europe other tier 1 and 2 carriers are drawing up plans to follow suit. Major expansion is also taking place in central and eastern Europe, as countries there enter their second and sometimes third level of infrastructural modernization. Meantime, the level of telecoms M&A activity across the entire region is notably high as 2006 unfolds.
Within a decade the telecommunications scene in Europe will be totally transformed -- and TelecomsEurope will be at the heart of this transformation, bringing the industry the latest information on, and analysis of, these dramatic developments.
We hope you enjoy this first issue and crave your feedback - let us what you think about our coverage as well as new developments in the telecoms world.