European Telecommunications Infrastructures

Posted: 7 Jan 2004

See all articles by Martin E. Cave

Martin E. Cave

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School; Brunel University London

Luigi Prosperetti

Law School - University of Milan


Since the liberalization of European telecommunications markets, regulators at European and national level have been relatively successful in forcing down the price of access to the historic monopolists' fixed network. This has led, however, to the development primarily of "service competition" in most of Europe, while infrastructure competition has been limited. As a consequence, investment levels are significantly lower than in the United States, particularly for the provision of broadband. Mobile telephony has, however, diffused quickly in Europe compared with the United States, partly as a result of the successful second-generation Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard adopted, and partly as a result of the charging systems employed. These developments have, however, been imperilled by the cost and delays associated with third-generation mobile technology. A new regime for regulating communications is currently being developed in Europe. If properly applied, it will reduce regulatory intervention and promote investment and innovation in both fixed and mobile services, but there is a risk that national regulators may thwart this outcome.

Suggested Citation

Cave, Martin E. and Prosperetti, Luigi, European Telecommunications Infrastructures. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 17 No. 3, Autumn 2001, Available at SSRN:

Martin E. Cave (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Centre for Management under Regulation (CMuR)
Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Brunel University London

Kingston Lane
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
United Kingdom

Luigi Prosperetti

Law School - University of Milan ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono, 7
Milan, 20122

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