11 December, 2014

Press Release: Telecoms - Return to growth in sight, reform is needed to support investments

ETNO presents the Annual Economic Report 2014 and underlines need to reform EU rules

ETNO, representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, has presented today its Annual Economic Report, prepared by the digital economy think-tank IDATE.

The Report describes the state of the art for the European telecoms sector and includes figures from 2013, as well as projections on 2014 and the coming years.

This year’s figures confirm the trends identified in the past, but open up to growth prospects as from 2016. Overall, telecoms services revenues were 4% lower in 2013 than the year before and reached EUR 252.8bn. However, IDATE’s estimate for 2014 is that the decrease of the telecoms service revenues growth will slow down to -1.8%. In parallel, according to their projections, the telecoms industry is expected to return to the positive camp in 2016 (+1%).

The 2014 Report also confirms that the investment gap between Europe and the U.S. is widening: in the period 2012-2013 the overall CAPEX growth in the EU was negative (-0.4%), compared to strong growth in the US (+5.7%). As a reference, this means that the sector, in Europe, invested EUR 46.7bn in 2013.

According to IDATE, at the end of 2014, for the first time, fixed broadband subscriptions will outnumber traditional circuit-switched fixed lines. This reflects the fact that people use voice services over the internet alongside other broadband services and confirms that broadband will keep its role as one of the industry’s main growth engines.

In line with past figures, the majority of the investments in Europe’s networks comes from ETNO members, with a total of EUR 27.8bn CapEx in 2013 (59% of the total investment). ETNO companies invested the biggest part of the funds in fixed networks (EUR 16.3bn), and the rest in mobile networks (EUR 11.4bn).

Luigi Gambardella, ETNO’s Chairman, commented: "The time for reform is now. Data show that a new phase of growth is in sight. We need to encourage this expectation with a new regulatory and policy framework. More investment will mean better networks and better services for European citizens and businesses. For this reason, we welcome Juncker’s Commission intention to create an investment-friendly climate in the EU”.

ETNO’s Annual Economic Report can be found online here

For more information, please contact: Alessandro Gropelli, Head of Communications & Media – ETNO, gropelli@etno.eu, +32 (0) 476 941839

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