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ICB Toll Free (800/888) News by: Judith Oppenheimer, Publisher, ICB Toll Free (800/888) News
Sunday August 10 1997 at 09:09:56 PM EDT

EUROPEAN TOLL FREE/TOLL SHARED MARKET MAY REACH $5 BILLION BY 2002

The European toll-free and toll-shared services market earned more than $1 billion in 1996, and has the potential to reach $5 billion annually by the year 2002, according to "Exploiting the Opportunities for Intelligent Networks," a new study released by the independent consultant agency Schema.

New York, NY US - New York, NY August 7, 1997 (ICB TOLL FREE NEWS) The European toll-free and toll-shared services market earned more than $1 billion in 1996, and has the potential to reach $5 billion annually by the year 2002, according to "Exploiting the Opportunities for Intelligent Networks," a new study released by the independent consultant agency Schema.

Toll-free, toll-shared, and other number translation services accounted for more than half of the $4.5 billion earned by Intelligent Network (IN) services in Europe last year. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) services accounted for another 26 percent of the service-related revenues.

At the forefront is the United Kingdom, which currently leads the entire continent of Europe in toll-free and toll-shared services with 40 percent of all traffic and 35 percent of European revenues in 1996. Schema analysts predict the U.K. will remain the IN leader in Europe, at least for the foreseeable future. The consultants expect U.K.-based operators to account for the largest proportion 15 percent of IN product revenues for the period between 1996 and 2002. Germany is expected to claim second place, with 11 percent of IN product revenues, followed by France with nine percent.

Europe's current IN boom is being driven by telecom operators who are actively expanding their service portfolios, the report states. Schema's analysts predict that every European telecom operator, regardless of size or stature, will expand or begin offering IN services within the next few years. Schema officials believe the top offerings are likely be personal number, calling card, number Translation, and VPN services.

These services will be a key competitive element for existing companies as well as market newcomers. (Schema predicts that a new crop of companies will appear as additional European nations complete their deregulation efforts.) Schema analysts predict that this collective expansion, coupled with increased customer interest, could result in the market tripling its collective receipts to reach $15 billion in annual revenues by 2002.

There is already a high-level of user awareness about established IN services, including calling cards and toll-free offerings, within the European business community. However, a majority of the actual users are within Europe's larger companies. There are few and perhaps no mass market IN services now available in Europe.

To date, Europeans have been slow to adopt personal number services. These services account for a mere 1 percent of all IN market revenues for 1996. Schema analysts believe these services have great potential, however. In the report, the analysts predict that personal number services will generate 1.7 billion in revenues, and account for 11 percent of the European IN market by the year 2002. Mobile users will make up most of the new users, according to the report.

Europe's IN market also will be boosted by two main components: IN service software and professional IN design, development, and integration services. The service software component rose 15 percent in 1996, and could go as high as 18 percent by the year 2000, according to the report. The IN design services accounted for 34 percent of the market in 1996, and could go as high as 50 percent by the millennium, Schema officials said.

Author/Correspondent's Profile: Judith Oppenheimer, Publisher, ICB Toll Free (800/888) News



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