Asian IT firms prominent at CeBit

Asian technology suppliers' push for a bigger share of European corporate IT budgets was highlighted by this month's CeBit trade show in Hanover.

Asian technology suppliers' push for a bigger share of European corporate IT budgets was highlighted by this month's CeBit trade show in Hanover.

Increased competition in services and software as well as manufactured products could mean lower prices for buyers, analysts said.

"Asian IT players are pushing into the market with a vengeance; home entertainment is gradually becoming a tangible concept, and next-generation network planning is taking hold," said Dan Bieler and Tony Lavender, research directors at Ovum.

"What was striking at CeBit was the presence of Asian IT manufacturers and service providers," they said. "It was not only the South Korean and Taiwanese handset and high-definition TV manufacturers that made their presence felt. There were Chinese network infrastructure providers, Indian software suppliers and many more. "

They warned that alarm bells should be ringing in European IT suppliers' headquarters. "In our view it is highly dangerous to underestimate the competitive threat that is growing in Asia," they said.

"The migration towards next-generation networks is in full swing. We saw endless IP-based network infrastructure solutions - and of course IP-based end devices. In particular, the spread of voice over IP to a mass market is almost given as a forgone conclusion."

"While we have no doubt that next-generation networks will become a reality over the medium term, we also see that regulatory uncertainty, in particular concerning IP interconnect and interoperability, hamper the uptake.

"We find it increasingly difficult to see a 'natural role' for traditional telco service providers. Their turf is under attack from many different directions. Despite a lot of rhetoric, we see them struggling to find a role in the convergent marketplace."

 

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