Germans Spend $1.75 Billion on Net, Fax and Phone Fees

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

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.

The online services market is one of the business sectors in
telecommunications showing the strongest growth. According to the German Institute for Consumer Research (GfK) the
number of Germans Internet users passed the 10
million mark in the middle of last year. One fifth of German citizens are
regularly online, and the time spent each day on the Web has increased

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.


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