Service providers must continue to invest in advanced service creation and delivery to enable users to reap the benefits of broadband, says Riverstone president and CEO Romulus Pereira.
"In the 1990s, technology set the tone of the market as carriers scrambled to adopt the latest advances to stay ahead of the competition, Today, market demands are leading technology deployments as businesses and consumers increasingly require additional bandwidth for advanced streaming and network-based services."
By end-2002 about 7% of homes in western Europe had a broadband connection, led by Germany at 39% then Spain and Italy at 18%. The UK is one of the fastest growing markets, with more than 1.3m homes expected to sign up during 2003.
European firms are also increasing spending on network services, especially VPNs, data and communications security, data storage and high-speed connections. Business expenditures on IT will grow 6.8% in 2003, says the RoperNOP Technology Confidence Barometer.
"The business market is asking for multi-site, multi-client and multi-service networks," said Pereira. "These mission-critical business networks are rapidly requiring carrier-class scalability, predictability and reliability."
In 2002 Telefonica was building Spain's largest enterprise network to deliver advanced Ethernet services. France Telecom has also invested over USD3bn to modernise its telecoms infrastructure.