European households are ready to embrace 'triple play' services of television, telephony and broadband internet from a single provider.
A new report by US-headquartered technology consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton predicts that around 60% of EU households will have digital TV by 2010, allowing consumers to access new interactive services.
The report claims dTV will replace broadband as the principal driver of growth in Europe's digital economy. It anticipates €100 billion ($122.94bn; £68.71bn) in investment and the generation of 100,000 jobs, mainly among infrastructure providers such as cable and telecoms operators. A further €35bn will be invested by content providers.
Booz partner Thomas Künster says the longterm winners will be players who are first able to offer consumers triple play "on favourable terms and conditions".
Cable operators and telecoms companies both have the technical capability to deliver the services. Currently, telcos are in the ascendancy with a European customer base of around 151 million, compared with cable's 51m.
But, adds Künster, given the right regulatory framework to promote competition among infrastructure providers, cable operators could emerge as the only credible contenders, generating a third of new jobs.
Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff