Discussion Papers

Michael Berlage, Thomas Schnöring

Telekommunikation in Osteuropa. Bestandsaufnahme und Entwicklungstrends
Nr. 93 / September 1992

Summary

Eastern Europe experiences a far-reaching process of change covering all sectors of economy and society. Current perspectives within the field of telecommunications from the viewpoint of the affected nations as well as of foreign investors and Western industrial nations are the subject of this paper.

The actual situation is characterised by uncertainty concerning the future of current reform efforts and by rather unstable structures. Financial resources for the modernization of telephone networks are limited. Strategies fitting into the situation have to develop profitable market segments first and have to move on to household customers and the periphery later on. Policy actions of Eastern European countries do not always consider the requirements of long term strategies. So far just a few countries have adjusted their policy and legislation to the new conditions. The actual implementation of the new policies will take further time.

Against the background of the existing legal and political uncertainties, foreign investment is restrained. Low investment and effort to "nail their colours to the mast" characterise the strategy of most foreign enterprises in Eastern Europe. Regarding the considerable short-term risks, an extension of foreign investment is not to be expected. Support of Western governments is necessary to promote the infrastructure investments so important for the development of Eastern European economies. Facing the consequences of an economic and social disaster in Eastern Europe, such policies are in the interest of Western governments in particular in Western Europe.

Only German language version available.

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