Mobile and wireless technologies will fuel a massive growth in the service provider market over the next few years, according to analyst IDC.
But the remainder of this year will witness further consolidation in the sector as traditional service providers merge with internet or mobile service providers or are simply squeezed out of the market, the report predicted.
By 2006, investment in the European service provider market will increase to $10.9bn, from 2001's figure of $8.5bn, the report said.
This increase will come largely thanks to the adoption of new and emerging technologies such as GPRS.
"Applications that will fuel the demand for network equipment in 2002 are GPRS, UMTS, MTS wireless data, broadband, IP virtual private networks and voice transport over IP and ATM," predicted Romolo Pusceddu, a senior analyst at IDC's European networking expertise centre.
The report also points to mobile service providers as the dominant operators when it comes to equipment spending this year, as heavy investment is poured into the network infrastructure for GPRS and UMTS.
IDC believes that 38 per cent of all service provider spending will go on GPRS and UMTS equipment in 2002.
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