At a time when many experts say the economy is teetering on the edge of a recession, GartnerGroup’s Dataquest is forecasting a boom in the European Internet market.
The market research firm said the number of computers connected to the
Internet in Europe will grow from 13.3 million in 1997 to 69 million by
2002. This year the market is growing 60%, with 21.2 million
Internet seats, said Dataquest.
“As telecommunication deregulation begins to show its impact in Europe, prices for higher speed access such as leased lines will decrease, and some medium-sized companies that today can’t afford leased line access will switch over,” said Petra Gartzen, senior industry analyst for Dataquest’s Internet and Enterprise Strategies Europe program. “Once a company has leased line access, a much larger number of employees can be given Internet access.”
Leading the way in 1997 was Germany, with 4.7 million Internet seats,
followed by the UK and France, with 2 million and 1 million Internet seats
respectively. Dataquest said that these three countries will continue
to account for over 50% of Internet seats in Europe until 2002.
The strongest growth is expected to be in France, where Internet usage was
slow to catch on, chiefly because Minitel, France Telecom’s proprietary
online service, was so popular. Petra Gartzen noted: “France Telecom is now
a driving force in the French Internet market, and recent growth figures
show a big increase in interest in the Internet in both the business and
Further details of the Dataquest forecasts and figures are available in the
Dataquest Market Statistics report “European Internet and Online Service
Providers Forecast, 1998.” Fully detailed analysis is available in
a Dataquest Market Analysis report, “The Future of the Internet in Europe.”