Telecom carriers face weak growth in 2003, forecasts Standard & Poor's

March 6, 2003--Major carriers should expect sluggish revenues in 2003, thanks to increased competition from cable and wireless providers as well as existing telecom providers entering new segments of the industry, contends the recently released "Industry Survey on Telecommunications: Wireline" from Standard & Poor's.

Major carriers should expect sluggish revenues in 2003, thanks to increased competition from cable and wireless providers as well as existing telecom providers entering new segments of the industry, contends the recently released "Industry Survey on Telecommunications: Wireline" from New York-based Standard & Poor's, provider of independent research, indices, and ratings.

"With such a tumultuous year 2002 behind us, some pundits expect 2003 to be a year of strength for the telecommunications industry. Standard & Poor's does not concur," asserts Todd Rosenbluth, telecommunications equity analyst and author of the survey. He contends there will be industry-wide access line declines of at least 4%, as cable and wireless offerings further penetration US households.

"In addition," he says, "pricing pressure will likely continue due to increased competition, as we see telecom firms crossing each others' territories and Baby Bells entering long-distance markets. These firms will need to look outside their traditional voice services for growth."

Standard & Poor's "Industry Survey on Telecommunications: Wireline" examines the effects of a changing regulatory environment, local market competition, competition from cable providers, and the growth of new technologies. Key players such as AT&T, Bellsouth, and Verizon are profiled. For more information, visit www.standardandpoors.com.

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