Gartner has warned that half of European fixed-line telcos will go to the wall in the next five years, leaving millions of businesses cut off.
The analyst firm said that telcos have focused too much on developing technology to deliver new services instead of considering how to make money from them.
Only five European telcos will emerge as global players, analysts speaking at the Gartner annual European Symposium ITxpo in France predicted.
Businesses are advised to evaluate telcos on their short-term financial capabilities through 2003, rather than their long-term potential.
"In the past, if a company had financial problems, it would take six to 12 months before the issue was resolved and impacted," said Eric Paulak, research director at Gartner Europe.
"In the last six months we have seen examples of telecoms operators going into receivership at close of business on a Friday, with customers being cut off from their services on a Saturday, needing to find a new provider before Monday morning. It can't be done."
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