Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent a largely untapped market for broadband services but strategies to penetrate the market are beginning to emerge, according to analyst Frost & Sullivan.
The analyst said that until recently, broadband providers have faced obstacles entering this lucrative market segment because of inadequate understanding of SMEs and their business issues.
But providers are beginning to identify appropriate strategies to tap the SME segment, and speed up migration to broadband.
The demand for cost savings, faster and always-on access to the internet, access to advanced applications and increased productivity are expected to go a long way in helping broadband providers make inroads into the market.
Applications such as teleworking, Voice over IP, e-commerce and videoconferencing are also cited as providing further opportunities for business broadband service providers.
Paul Devine, research manager at Frost & Sullivan, noted that regional governments across Europe have set up funding to offer seminars and education to local businesses on the benefits of broadband. To reduce the digital divide, governments have subsidised rollout of broadband in rural areas.
"The providers will be greatly helped by governments' interest in the broadband project. Governments in the European Union are aware of the influence of modern telecommunications infrastructure in increasing productivity, and are encouraging broadband adoption," said Devine in a statement.
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