The International Communications Market 2006 (November)
This is the first Ofcom research publication to focus specifically on the international communications market, reflecting the increasing impact of global issues on the UK commercial and regulatory communications agenda.
The communications sector now forms an important part of most economies in the developed world. In 2005, the global communications market generated estimated revenues of around £840bn. In Europe, the Lisbon Agenda has set a target of making the EU the world’s most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010. A successful and innovative communications sector has a vital role to play in helping to achieve this goal.
This report does not seek to draw policy conclusions, but rather to serve as an evidence base from which to evaluate developments in the sector. We consider levels of availability and adoption of communications services and how they are used by consumers in six major countries ( France, Germany, Italy, the US, Japan and China) in addition to the UK. We also look at a further five nations ( Netherlands, Poland, Ireland, Sweden and Spain) where comparable data is available.
We examine the size and make-up of each sector in each country and look at the areas which are growing fastest. We also explore the technological and regulatory environment in which operators provide services.
We have commissioned new research into the way in which consumers use converged and online services and have conducted a price benchmarking exercise, using a new methodology which aims to capture the impact of bundled communications services and also the cost of equipment ownership.
The report meets Ofcom’s regulatory principle to research markets constantly; it was also a key commitment in the 2006-7 annual plan as part of our aim of understanding the sector and our stakeholders. But the report also comes in response to what stakeholders have told us. Many of you have asked that we extend our understanding of the sector to encompass a broader international perspective. The report complements other research published by Ofcom during 2006, and forms part of the Communications Market series – which includes the UK Communications Market (published in August 2006), The Communications Market: Nations and Regions (April 2006), and ad hoc reports covering specific sectors and topics.
We hope that this report will help to provide a global context for the workings of the UK communications sector and prove a valuable resource for stakeholders, contributing to a greater understanding of the international communications market.
This is the first time we have written such a report; we very much welcome feedback and further engagement on the topics it raises to help us improve it for the future.Ed Richards, Chief Executive