London, 3 March 2004 – A new report researched by consultancy Quantum-Web reveals the true user cost 1 of broadband averages Euro 74.61 per month for 512 kbps packages. Around 30% of all tariff packages offered in Europe fall into this speed band category. Overall, the report details the growth of broadband in Europe but draws attention to the continued challenge of unbundling, which has yet to be resolved by the European Commission.
The report – Broadband Benchmarks Europe – published today, is based on extensive research conducted with 83 operators featured across 32 European countries and some 730 tariff packages, and presents the most far-reaching report yet to address broadband user pricing complemented by in depth country specific data and analysis.
The cheapest real monthly rate in terms of 1 Mbps per month is offered by Bostream, Sweden and is Euro 1.96. The most expensive tariff for 512 kbps speed was 17 times more expensive than the cheapest. Cegetel of France offered the cheapest true user prices across many of the speed bands analysed. For the speed band of 1536 kbps, Arcor in Germany offered the cheapest true user price and sunrise of Switzerland, the most expensive, although only 7% of tariff packages offered fall into this category.
The report also found that Broadband in Eastern European countries is still very expensive (compared to Western Europe) and the percentage of household disposable income even in PPP terms, dedicated to pay broadband fees is still very high.
Uniquely, the report provides vertical analysis of each access technology, but also assesses cross-sectional analysis, delivering the most comprehensive panorama of broadband access in Europe.
“The broadband story in Europe is much wider than DSL,” commented Qmars Safikhani, managing consultant at Quantum-Web, “Cross-sectional analysis implies measuring cable, xdsl and satellite fixed wireless. As broadband and wireless increasingly collide, it is critical to offer a perspective that reveals the entire broadband landscape”.
By including alternative broadband access technologies available in the European market, the report provides benchmarks against similar products. As non-xDSL products have an approximate 27% share of the broadband market at the end of 2003, failure to benchmark this category could have resulted in a biased comparative analysis.
Price sampling is also not limited to upstream and downstream speeds, but covers all available speeds offered by operators with 128Kbps, 256Kbps, 512 Kbps, 1Mbps, 1.5 Mbps, 2Mbps and 4Mbps priced products. Significantly faster standards are therefore benchmarked against significantly inferior speeds. Quantum-Web believes the methodology creates an unbiased impression of the relative price for quality in the European market.
Moreover, the report stratifies available broadband access technologies in Europe and examines Residential ADSL, Enterprise Broadband, SDSL, VDSL, FWA, Satellite, FTTH and Cable separately in order to give individual insight to these technologies and services.
The analysis benchmarks all products by sector and product quality, against products of comparable quality. Consumption is also benchmarked at quantities that reflect average and median market usage. Thus, the comparison reflects not only differences in posted prices, but also differences in price at the levels of consumption that are actually occurring.
Broadband Benchmarks Europe provides econometric data for each country covered adding depth and value to the extensive pricing information and analysis.
1. True User Cost is based on blended Residential and Enterprise customer charges stratified across maximum downstream speed bands. Prices exclusive of taxes.
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