TABLE 2  E Commerce Sales, 2000 
B2B trade in 
B2C trade in 
% E commerce 
US$M 2000 
US$M 2000 
Sales of GDP 
Germany 15,171.02 
France 6,170.95 
Italy 5,544.70 
United Kingdom 
EU 15
53,734.62 11,735.30 
United States 
Source: IDC, Internet Commerce Market Model, Version 8.1 (2002). 
Information Infrastructure 
Germany leads Europe in terms of the total number of broadband connections, which has 
increased at a rate of 15 times over the last two years, partly because deployment of services 
began earlier there than in many other markets, as well as an aggressive strategy pursued by the 
telecommunication service providers. In 2002, 3.9% of all inhabitants or 3.2 million high speed 
broadband connections were established in Germany. In comparison, only 2.3% of the 
population in the U.S. had access to digital subscriber lines (DSL) (EITO, 2002). 
Since becoming one of the first European countries to unbind its local loop, competitive access is 
technically available. In addition, Germany is one of the first European countries to offer 
commercial line sharing services. Competition, forcing the reduction of local voice tariffs and 
the increasing reliance on mobile services, is the major inhibitor of growth in the fixed line area 
in Germany. Carriers are looking for alternative ways to generate revenues, including DSL 
services (EITO, 2002).  
In the mobile area, data still represent a small amount of the overall traffic, but that is expected to 
change. German mobile carriers already offer some mobile applications, which include GPRS 
based location based services and Internet access. More advanced mobile multi media services 
(MMS) are also available on GPRS networks. These services combine text messages with sound, 
pictures and video. In March 2002, German mobile phone operator E plus was one of the first in 
Europe to launch location based I mode services that allow subscribers to search for restaurants, 
cinemas, ATMs, hotels, etc. on their mobile phones (Beck et al., 2003), (EITO, 2002).
Aside from the overall availability of e commerce enabling technologies at the country level, the 
usage of e commerce solutions at industry levels is also entering an advanced stage after the 
completed first usage and experimentation phase. 
The overall e commerce readiness in German industry is high when considering the figures in 
Table 3. However, it must be kept in mind that this survey represents only advanced users, rather 
than German firms as a whole.  It is worth noting that the observed readiness is not only present 
among large firms, but also SMEs. While often the existence of a  digital divide  or  digital 
gap  is mentioned in the literature, only slight differences are evident between SMEs and large 

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