BRUSSELS – The market for information technology and telecommunications in the European Union will rise by only 2.9 percent to €668 billion in 2007, a survey released Thursday concluded.
The market should also grow by around 2.9 percent in 2008, the European Information Technology Observatory said in the report.
Growth was 3.1 percent in 2006, 4.1 percent in 2005 and 3.8 percent in 2004, according to agency statistics, which were compiled with the market research group IDC.
Information technology services, software applications and broadband Internet data services will drive future growth, according to the report.
“Strong growth in broadband networks and services and a new wave of mergers and acquisitions in the ICT and media industry all over the world are in a way a sign of this recovery, this strong recovery,” the group chairman, Bruno Lamborghini, said as he presented the report.
Lamborghini warned, however, that Europe needed to address weaknesses in the information, communications and technology, or ICT, sector: “Market fragmentation, too little investment for research and development in ICT, limited high-tech start-ups and insufficient preparation and mobility of people with the right kind of skills.”
Growth has slowed in telecommunications, however, as traditional voice- calling revenue has eroded because of competition, government price regulation and less expensive voice calls over the Internet.
The popularity of broadband Internet connections and other fixed-line data connections, growing by 6.4 percent in 2007, only compensates in part for the 5 percent annual revenue decline in fixed-line voice services, the report said.
The EU telecommunications market is expected to grow by 1.5 percent this year to €348 billion, or $457 billion, and by 1.1 percent in 2008.
European telecommunications carriers grew by 3 percent in 2005.
Information technology, on the other hand, is proving to be a reliable source of strong growth, up 4.4 percent this year and well exceeding gross domestic product growth forecasts of 2.4 percent for 2007, the report said.
Software and IT services were also strong, increasing by 6.5 and 5.5 percent respectively, up from 5.5 and 4.3 percent in 2005, according to the report. The hardware market is recovering.
Fuente: International Herald Tribune