Telco market set for a shakeout: analyst

Telcos won't exist in their current form at the end of decade, rather, they will look like an IBM or a Hewlett-Packard, according to a telecommunications analyst.

Speaking at the ATUG (Australian Telecommunications Users Group) New South Wales November 2000 meeting, Paul Budde estimated that 40 per cent of all telcos would disappear within the next five to eight years.

Budde said the telecommunications industry is typically just an IT&T industry. "And if telcos don't change into IT companies they won't exist any more.

Budde believes that the industry is "bogged down" in mobile at the moment and should be focusing all efforts towards broadband.

However, access to broadband is scheduled to be severely limited in the near future for Australian users.

Budde said Telstra is forecasting 650,000 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) users by the year 2005. This would put Australia three years behind the rest of the world, he said, instead of leaders with the Internet as we were in 1996, "if Telstra gets its way".

"If you compare Australia with Holland, which has a population of 16 million people, by the end of 2001 they will have 500,000 broadband users. People should revolt against Telstra's predictions," Budde said.

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