Telecommunications in Western Europe: Liberalization, Technological Dynamics and Regulatory Developments

  • Paul J. J. Welfens
  • Cornelius Graack


Telecommunications is a dynamic growth-field in OECD countries. In the European Union (EU) the share of the telecoms sector in GNP is expected to increase from 3% in 1988 to about 6% in 2000. The telecoms sector represents some ECU 285 bill, worldwide, of which 84 bill, are accounted for by markets in the EU. The equipment market amounted to ECU 82 bill. worldwide and 26 bill. in the Community. Annual growth rates of 6% in the telecoms service sector and 4% in the equipment sector are expected until the year 2000 (EC COMMISSION, 1993a). Modern telecommunication allows the increase of decentralization of firms, facilitates cooperation across space and could help to reduce traffic and energy use via telework, which links households and specialized local centers to company headquarters. Moreover, technological progress could be accelerated by easier scientific communication - a perspective which has stimulated the vision of a global information highway system in the US and the establishment of trans-European information networks in the EU. In 1993 the EC Commission estimated that some ECU 150 bill. of investments are needed over a decade for building trans-European telecoms networks; the first stage between 1994–99 will require ECU 67 bill. The integration of nationally fragmented telecoms markets in the EU thus requires huge investments, which can best be financed by private capital; they call for a national deregulation of the telecoms sector as well as a European framework program with certain standards and uncertainty-reducing rules of the game.


European Union Mobile Network Operator Telecom Sector European Telecommunication Standard Institute France Telecom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. J. Welfens
  • Cornelius Graack

There are no affiliations available

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