OECD Communications Outlook

Frequency :
Biennial
ISSN :
1999-1460 (online)
ISSN :
1562-8795 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/19991460
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OECD’s biennial report that provides an extensive range of indicators for different types of communications networks and compares performance indicators such as revenue, investment, employment and prices for service throughout the OECD area.  This book is based on data from the OECD Telecommunications Database 2007, which provides time series for OECD countries from 1980 to 2005. Readers of the OECD Communications Outlook 2007 e-book will find a URL that provides online access to the OECD Telecommunications Database 2007. Graphics and tables in all editions include StatLinks, URLs linking to spreadsheets containing the underlying data.

Also available in: French
 
OECD Communications Outlook 2009

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
10 Aug 2009
Pages :
352
ISBN :
9789264059849 (PDF) ; 9789264059832 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/comms_outlook-2009-en

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The OECD Communications Outlook 2009 presents the most recent comparable data on the performance of the communication sector in OECD countries and on their policy frameworks. The data provided in this report map the eight years of competition for many OECD countries that fully opened their market to competition in 1998. The 2009 edition analyses the communications sector over the years following the "dot com bubble" crisis and explores future developments. The OECD Communications Outlook provides an extensive range of indicators for the development of different communications networks and compares performance indicators such as revenue, investment, employment and prices for service throughout the OECD area. These indicators are essential for industry and for regulators who use benchmarking to evaluate policy performance. This book is based on the data from the OECD Telecommunications Database 2009, which provides time series of telecommunications and economic indicators, such as network dimension, revenues, investment and employment for OECD countries from 1980 to 2007. For more information on trends in information technology, globalisation and the impact on the way people live and work, refer to the OECD Information Technology Outlook, published every other year.

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    Foreword
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    Executive Summary
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    Main Trends
    Telecommunication companies which survived the burst of the "dot-com bubble" in 2000 generally emerged stronger and more agile than before and are well poised to face the unfolding economic downturn and dramatic changes in telecommunication markets. Communication operators continue upgrading their networks in order to stay competitive and increase revenues. Fixed line and cable providers are investing in fibre-optic infrastructure, and wireless carriers are paying for new radio-interface upgrades in order to offer higher-speed data services.
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    Recent Communication Policy Developments
    Broadband is often viewed as a general purpose technology having a wide impact on a large number of industries and on social interaction, resulting in a range of new innovative services which have diffused rapidly across economies. The impact of broadband in the economy is strongly linked to the level of competition in the market because lower prices and better quality increase broadband adoption. Policy makers are therefore reviewing regulatory frameworks – which had reached a certain stability and maturity over the last decade – to ensure that competition prevails.
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    Telecommunication Market Size
    Telecommunications is a USD 1.2 trillion market in the OECD. Telecommunication markets have expanded at a fairly constant annual growth rate of 6% since 1990, even during economic downturns. Voice remains the largest revenue source for operators despite declines in calling prices for both fixed and mobile. Mobile revenues accounted for 41% of all telecommunication revenues in the OECD in 2007, up from 22% just a decade earlier. Ten countries now have mobile sectors which are larger than the fixed sector in revenue terms.
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    Network Dimensions and Development
    There have been two major growth areas in telecommunication services in the previous two years – mobile and broadband. Mobile and broadband subscriptions together accounted for 74% of all communication subscriptions in 2007. Mobile alone accounts for 61% of all subscriptions while standard phone lines have dropped to 26%. This is a dramatic turnaround from the year 2000 when there were more fixed line subscribers than mobile. Telecommunications investment reached USD 185 billion in 2007, an increase of 9% each year from 2005. Investment grew over the past four years, in sharp contrast to the strong investment declines observed between 2000 and 2003.
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    Internet Infrastructure
    The growth in broadband subscriptions has helped fuel the expansion of the Internet and also been one source of its growing pains. This growth in the number of networks – and devices attached to those networks – has led to a shortage of unique Internet addresses used to identify individual devices connected to the Internet. As a result, there is a need for all network operators to upgrade to a new Internet addressing scheme, Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6). Based on allocation trends, experts estimate that the addresses in the current scheme (IPv4) will run out in 2011 or early 2012 (January 2009 projections).
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    Broadcasting
    Operators are investing heavily in new, high-speed broadband networks and this allows a much richer audiovisual experience than early broadband connections were capable of transmitting. As a result, the audio visual landscape is rapidly changing with audio and video now delivered over a range of different networks and devices. Television is no longer the sole conduit for diffusion of video data as consumers now watch video content on an array of devices.
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    Main Trends in Pricing
    Over the previous 18 years, residential users saw the real price of residential fixedline phone service fall roughly 1% per year while business prices fell 2.5% per year. Mobile subscribers also benefitted from declining prices between 2006 and 2008. Broadband prices have fallen as well over the same time. OECD broadband prices declined significantly between 2005 and 2008 at an average rate of 14% per year for DSL and 15% for cable.
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    Trade in Telecommunication Equipment and Services
    Telecommunications trade in the OECD area reached a historical peak in 2006 at USD 378.6 billion, then declined slightly in 2007. Korea, the United States and Germany remained the major exporters within the OECD area. China continues to grab a growing share of the world’s telecommunication exports. Smaller economies like Finland, Hungary and Sweden managed to develop and maintain their strong comparative advantage in this sector’s foreign trade. Telecommunication trade data for 2007 are estimations, following a major change in the trade statistical system of classification.
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    Glossary
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    Annex Tables
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