From the report’s forward:
This is Ofcom’s third report on developments in international communications markets. Putting the UK market into an international context is becoming increasingly important, as communications service provision globalises and as technological innovation breaks down traditional national market boundaries.
This report sets out the availability, take-up and use of communications services among seven main comparator countries (the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the US, Canada and Japan). Where data are available, we have included a further five European countries (Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland). We also consider separately the development of communications markets in the large emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
This year, we have put yet more emphasis on the importance of convergence by setting out a number of converging market themes. These demonstrate that as content and services are distributed to consumers over a variety of digital networks, and to many different devices, consumer behaviour towards communications services is changing – for example, their concurrent use of different media such as the internet and television. We have also included more time-series data this year on how, across our larger comparator countries, consumer attitudes towards communications services are evolving.
We are publishing this report to help fulfil our commitment to continually research markets, to inform our policy thinking and to fulfil the commitment we made in our 2008/09 annual plan. It complements the other research that has been published by Ofcom in 2008, and forms part of the Communications Market trilogy – together with The UK Communications Market (published in August 2008) and The Communications Market: Nations and Regions (May 2008). [These reports can be found at the Research and Market Data section of the website.]
The reference period of this report is the five years to the end of 2007. Consequently, our analysis does not fully take account of changing economic conditions over the past twelve months.