GartnerGroup's Dataquest Outlines the Landscape for Mobile Phone Users in Europe
Paris, France, June 8, 1999—European mobile phone subscriber numbers jumped by 66.4 percent, to nearly 100 million in 1998, and while the mobile phone market is booming across Europe, with growth rates as high as 100 percent, the larger economies including the United Kingdom, Germany, and France are lagging behind their Northern European counterparts, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Group, Inc. (NYSE: IT). Dataquest analysts revealed their findings today during GartnerGroup's annual European conference, Dataquest Predicts 99 in Paris.
Finland, Sweden, and Norway continue to lead the European market, with more than 60 percent of the population in Finland owning a mobile phone, followed by 50 percent in Sweden and Norway. The biggest growth this year was seen in Austria, which excelled by 100 percent, followed by France at 90 percent and Italy at 75 percent. Despite seeing one of its most successful years yet, only 19 percent of France's population owns a mobile phone. Similarly, the United Kingdom and Germany, which experienced their biggest booms to date, with growth rates of 54 and 66 percent, can only claim a penetration rate of 22 and 17 percent, respectively.
"The increase in mobile phone usage in the Nordic region will continue to grow over the next five years when between 70 and 80 percent of the population will own a mobile phone," said Dirk Bout, senior industry analyst for Dataquest's Mobile Communications Services and Infrastructure Europe program [ http://gartner5.gartnerweb.com/dq/static/offer/programs/mobieuds19981130.html ]. "The exceptional uptake in this region is driven by local operators such as, Europolitan (Sweden), Netcom GSM (Norway), and Sonera (Finland), who stand at the forefront of market innovation. They will continue to drive the development and adoption of new exciting services ranging from delivery of branded content to mobile phones, to be developed in cooperation with companies such as Reuters and CNN, to interactive banking, and mobile Internet access services."
Nordic operators are also making big progress in commercializing GSM office solutions to increase mobile operators' market share among larger enterprises. This is a market that mobile operators have not successfully penetrated yet, and operators in other parts of Europe will benefit enormously from the pioneering work performed here.
Success will not only be seen in the Nordic region. Italy and Austria will see a similar proportion of its population using mobile phones around 2000. While these countries will not be as innovative in the development of new types of services, operators have shown they can bring mobile services quickly to the mass market. In terms of absolute size, the Italian market remained the largest market in Europe with more than 20.5 million end users in 1998, and it will grow to nearly 42 million users in 2003, representing a penetration rate of over 73 percent.
Now in its second year, GartnerGroup's Dataquest Predicts 99 offers delegates the equivalent of eight different conferences all under one roof. The conference is built around seven themes, or "tracks," examining Internet and e-commerce, telecommunications, storage, computers and peripheral systems, IT services, enterprise software, and semiconductors.
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