Discussion Papers

Anette Metzler, Cornelia Stappen unter Mitarbeit von Dieter Elixmann

Aktuelle Marktstruktur der Anbieter von TK-Diensten im Festnetz sowie Faktoren für den Erfolg von Geschäftsmodellen
Nr. 247 / September 2003


The study aims at highlighting the market situation and at illuminating the experiences and challenges of the market participants regarding a successful positioning in the German telecommunications market five years after liberalisation. Against this background the study deals with the business models of the following supplier groups: national carriers, regional carriers (city carriers), Internet service providers/data service providers, carrier selection providers and value added services providers. The results of the study are based on the one hand on desk research and on the other hand on a series of interviews with representatives of important alternative carriers and federations in Germany.

The study firstly presents results regarding market structure and competitive factors within the individual supplier groups and analyses their implications for the telecommunications market at large. Secondly, we analyse features for a successful positioning of the supplier groups in the market. Thirdly, we focus on the impact of specific factors shaping the frame of the German telecommunications market on the business models of the suppliers.

Our study shows that national carries and city carriers are planning to invest in network infrastructure only on a limited scale. Consequently, an effective intensification of infrastructure competition will not take place in Germany in the foreseeable future. In particular, it is highly likely that DTAG will remain the most important market player in end user markets in rural areas and that alternative providers continue to be dependent in an essential way on input services by DTAG in these regions. Success factors for the market positioning of a telecommunications firm are in particular the access to strategically important resources with regard to end user access, co-operations with suppliers
from different stages of the value chain, and the successful differentiation especially with regard to the product spectrum offered, marketing and the own image. Our analysis shows in addition that the factors demand, capital market, technical progress and regulation do have a more or less decisive impact on the business models of the telecommunications market players in Germany. German market players face an increasing price responsiveness with regard to both business and residential customers. The market is increasingly affected by the capital market which focuses more and more on the present and/or short term financial situation of the enterprises. Competitors in the German telecommuni-cations market apparently have much more difficulties to get capital for expansion and innovation plans than in previous times. Technical progress currently has only a limited impact on business models. In particular, embodied technical progress by investing in infrastructure with the objective of product innovation does play only a limited role. The significance of regulation for competitors regarding market entry, infrastructure development and access to the end user seems to be no less important than at the beginning of the liberalisation process. [full version only available in German]

Diskussion Paper is available for download.

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