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TMCNet:  Research and Markets Adds Report: Germany - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media

[June 12, 2009]

Research and Markets Adds Report: Germany - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media

Jun 12, 2009 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Germany - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media" report to its offerings.

In a release, Research and Markets noted that report highlights include: Germany's telecom market is supported by one of the largest and more affluent populations in Europe. The sector's total turnover was about euro63 billion in 2008, down more than 3 percent from 2007. Alternative operators account for 53 percent of market revenue, compared with only 26 percent in 1998, while they also account for 58 percent of total sector investment. The market is expected to remain stagnant in coming years, though propped up by data services and mobile telephony.

The incumbent, Deutsche Telekom, remains one of Europe's major telcos, with a significant international presence. Domestically, the company has fared badly in recent years, being plagued by regulatory measures as well as by a workforce which is both too large and protected by its part civil-service status. In addition, DT, still 15 percent owned by the State, has drawn rebuke from the national regulator and the EC for its attempt to retain a monopoly on its all-IP NGN infrastructure. DT's current streamlining and restructuring is a painful yet necessary procedure if it is to compete successfully against stiffening competition. The other main players, including Vodafone's Arcor and freenet (which bought up mobilcom and debitel), provide extensive triple- and quad-play services, and offer effective competition in all sectors.

Germany's broadband market benefits from cross-platform competition. The cable sector has undergone considerable consolidation in recent years, though a proposed merger of the major operators KDG, Kabel BW and Unitymedia, which would have created a nationwide cable network operator, was halted by the authorities in April 2009 as anti-competitive. The DSL sector has benefited from regulatory measures to promote LLU and bitstream access. DT's own VDSL network, originally planned to be built entirely 'in-house,' has recently been expanded with co-operation from numerous other players in a bid to reduce costs and expand the network more quickly and effectively.

Key Highlights: - Germany's digital TV transition was undertaken swiftly; in December 2008 network operator, Media Broadcast, had completed analogue switchover, having begun the process in 2003. Almost all residences can receive digital TV, though services are still dominated by digital cable and satellite rather than digital terrestrial.

- Triple play is a rapidly developing market in Germany. By early 2009 almost 20 percent of the population subscribed to a bundled service, mostly broadband and telephony. In coming years the sector will be driven by the entry of a growing number of telcos into the market, cheaper services for consumers, and the greater availability of upgraded networks.

- Germany's VDSL network has been extended in 2009 through co-operative ventures between DT and utilities as well as its competitors including Arcor, Versatel, Hansenet, Telefonica Deutschland, NetCologne and QSC.

- Germany has the largest mobile subscriber base in Europe, with about 107 million subscribers and a penetration rate of around 130 percent. There is a strong shift among subscribers from 2G to UMTS networks. Operators have largely upgraded their networks with HSDPA technology, and are looking to capitalise on LTE from 2010 while developing business models to encourage further consumer use of higher-ARPU mobile data services.

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