Gartner: A-P fixed telecom bigger than Europe's by 2005

The Asia-Pacific region's fixed-line telecommunication services market will grow by 9 percent annually over the next five years, to be worth US$208 billion in the year 2005, according to a report from Gartner Inc.

By that time, the Asia-Pacific telecommunication market will be larger than Europe's, and two-thirds the size of the U.S. market, according to Gartner.

Most of the growth will be in Internet and other data services, Gartner said. The total market for fixed-line data services will more than double, from $26 billion in 2000 to $59 billion in 2005, with compound annual revenue growth of 18 percent. The region will see strong growth in ISP (Internet service provider) services and leased lines, even in less-developed parts of the region, according to Gartner.

The voice services market will grow at 6.7 percent annually over the same period, growing from $108 billion in 2000 to $149 billion in 2005. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services will account for $27 billion in revenue by 2005, with China becoming the region's largest VoIP market, Gartner said.

Telephony prices will continue to fall as a result of competition, and this will hold circuit-switched telephony revenue flat over the next five years. This effect will see data service revenue overtaking telephony service revenue in regional business centers such as Singapore and Hong Kong by 2005, according to Gartner.

Despite the economic problems in many Asian countries, the region will regain its luster as a major telecommunication market in due course as high growth rates resume, Gartner said.

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