13 February 2003 -- Telecoms service providers must continue to invest in advanced service creation and delivery technology to enable business and private consumers to reap the benefits of broadband. So said Riverstone President and CEO Romulus Pereira yesterday in a meeting with European business leaders.
"In the 1990s, technology set the tone of the market as carriers scrambled to adopt the latest advances to stay ahead of the competition," Pereira said. "Today, market demands are leading technology deployments as businesses and consumers increasingly require additional bandwidth for advanced streaming and network-based services."
At the end of last year, according to Riverstone, approximately 7% of homes in western Europe had a broadband connection, with Germany leading the continent at 39 percent, followed by Spain and Italy at 18 percent. The UK is one of the fastest growing markets in Europe with more than 1.3m homes expected to sign up for broadband in 2003.
European businesses are also continuing to increase their spending on network services, especially VPNs, data and communications security, data storage and high-speed connections. The RoperNOP Technology Confidence Barometer recently projected that overall business expenditures on information technology will grow 6.8% in 2003 across Europe.
"The business market is asking for multi-site, multi-client and multi-service networks - networks that scale across a campus, across organisations and that support a range of next-generation services," Pereira said. "As the business market moves toward this goal, these mission critical business networks are rapidly requiring carrier class scalability, predictability and reliability."
Many European carriers are making significant investments in their network infrastructures to meet new market demands. Riverstone repots that in 2002 its customer Telefonica de Espana was building Spain's largest enterprise network to deliver advanced Ethernet services to business. France Telecom has also invested over USD3bn to modernise its telecommunications infrastructure.
"Corporations are deploying enterprise-wide network-based education and training, video telephony and voice over IP applications while residential users are also running more bandwidth-intensive streaming video and data applications," continued Pereira. "European service providers need to stay focused on where the market is headed so they have the technology ready to support it."