TIA predicts the telecommunications market outside the U.S. will grow this year

April 21, 2003
April 21, 2003 - Forecast says this will reverse the declines of the past two years.

The telecommunications market outside the United States is expected to grow at 10.1% in 2003 to $1.4 trillion, reversing declines during 2001 and 2002.

This is according to the 2003 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast. The annual publication is produced by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). The forecast provides an overview of telecom's interrelated market segments including network services, enterprise and consumer, mobile and wireless communications, and international markets.

Buoyed by growth in wireless and support services, the overall telecommunications market internationally is poised for a healthy 10.3% compound average growth rate (CAGR) through 2006, according to the forecast. While a combination of factors conspired to hold down the telecommunications market in 2001 and 2002 -- slow economic growth, financial problems faced by major carriers, high fees for wireless licenses, excess capacity and diminished corporate profits -- TIA sees the underlying demand for telecommunications remaining strong. Internet traffic continues to grow rapidly; the need at the enterprise level for high-speed data transmission continues to grow; and the demand for mobile connectivity for both voice and data is expanding, according to TIA analysts.

Major international findings included in the report are:

* Spending on landline transport services are beginning to be cannibalized by wireless services. Wireless services revenues comprise 42% of total transport services spending outside the U.S. in 2002.
* International spending on communications transport services is expected to reach $788 billion in 2003 -- a 10.5% increase over 2002 -- accompanied by a 2.7% uptick in international spending on telecommunications equipment to $247 billion in 2003.
* The largest regional market outside North America is Asia/Pacific with total telecommunications revenue expected to reach $421.6 billion in 2003, up from $380 billion in 2002. This market is projected to grow at a 9.1% clip through 2006.
* The Asia/Pacific market is very diverse, with uneven market growth. Of the top markets, Japan continues to exhibit only modest market growth while China and India are growing rapidly. For example, in recent years, growth in subscribers of mobile phones in both China and India has exceeded 80% CAGR.
* Western Europe, the second largest regional telecommunications market outside North America, is expected to see revenue of $362 billion in 2003 -- up 5.8% over 2002.

"The recent turmoil in the entire telecommunications market shows how global the market has become and how increasingly important it is for the industry to broaden its business strategies," says TIA President Matthew Flanigan. "The big drivers for the international market for 2003 are broadband and wireless.

"Broadband deployment is approaching critical mass in 2003 in many countries around the world, putting the market on an accelerated growth curve," he continues. "3G and unlicensed wireless networks also are taking off in 2003 and have the potential to be a driver for the entire global market."

The TIA is based in Arlington, VA. For more information, visit www.tiaonline.org.

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