Germans Spend $1.75 Billion on Net, Fax and Phone Fees
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According to a recent sector analysis of the telecommunications market carried out by the German consumer magazine FOCUS, Germans spent a combined total of around DEM3.3 billion (US$1.75 billion) on telephone, fax and Internet during the last year.
FOCUS says that the speed of development in the IT and telecommunications is due to the fusion of telecommunications, computer technology and media sectors.
The Internet, e-commerce and mobile phone booms will stimulate further increases, the study says, resulting in a probable tenfold increase in turnover in the IT and communications sectors over the next five years. With a turnover of around DEM300 billion (US$159 billion), this sector is set to become the largest economic sector in Germany.
The study highlights the growth potential of IP telephony, which experts believe will eventually open up a large part of data and speech traffic. Gross turnover is expected to rise from $260 million in 1998 to $13.7 billion in the year 2005.
Evidence for this upward trend can be seen from the telephone bills of German Net users: FOCUS found that 60 percent of those online pay more than DEM100 (US$53), while only a third of the general population faces fees anywhere close to that figure.