The International Handbook of Telecommunications Economics, Volume III
Edited by Gary Madden
Chapter 15: Telecommunications in the multi-lateral trading system
Claude E. Barﬁeld and Steven Anderson INTRODUCTION Telecommunications services constitute a conduit, through which exchanges occur – for example, trade in services such as accounting, banking, construction, engineering and insurance. Accordingly, telecommunications provide an important engine of growth for the global economy. While telecommunication companies are often international in their operation, national telephone density (teledensity) varies substantially.1 The telecommunications sector has attracted much recent attention because of both its rapid growth and industrial reorganization. World telecommunications revenue at 1999 was 841.9 billion United States dollars (USD) or 2.6 per cent of world GDP (International Telecommunication Union; ITU, 2001: 55). As shown in Figure 15.1 the Americas telecommunications revenue was USD344.2 billion or 41 per cent of global revenue. Europe generated revenues of USD265.5 billion (32 per cent of the world total), Asia USD203.6 billion (24 per cent) and Africa and Oceania jointly USD28.6 billion (3 per cent).2 At 1999, revenue per telecommunications employee was USD220233 for the Americas, USD167452 for Oceania, USD139616 for Europe, USD106697 for Asia, and USD49031 for Africa. Telecommunications investment for 1999 totaled USD188.5 billion. As Figure 15.2 shows, Asia is the largest investor (USD71.4 billion or 39 per cent of global investment) while Europe (USD60.6 and 32 per cent) and the Americas (USD47.8 billion and 25 per cent) also made substantial investments. While Africa and Oceania made only 4 per cent of global investment, Africa did invest 40.1 per cent of its revenue. This percentage is high compared to that of Asia (35.8 per cent)...
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