The European Commission, DG XIII, has published an invitation to tender for a study addressing a market-oriented perspective for advanced telecommunications within less-favoured regions in the cohesion countries of the European Union. Telecommunications are a crucial factor for obtaining balanced regional economic development and for increasing the competitiveness of enterprises. Several programmes address(ed) the technological aspects of telecommunications within a technological- (supply-) driven strategy. There is a sub-set of regions/areas within the so-called "cohesion countries" of the EU (Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain) which could present, with regard to the infrastructures already or potentially available, a very real alternative for businesses and population. These are the target areas for a more EU-cohesive environment and should be the target areas of this study. So far the manufacturers and service providers have relied on monopoly approaches for close links with customers. In the future that will no longer be the case. The most powerful customers and the alternative service providers within the deregulation process are managing to find innovative but unstructured solutions. This approach works for the "initiated" customers with strong negotiating power but is of little or no benefit to the common customer. Consequently, there are delays in the take-off of new telecommunications services. This study addresses this "common" customer in both the business and residential sectors. The study should address, always from the customer point of view, the following issues within the above-defined environment: 1. What are the bottlenecks for the use of advanced telecommunications services? 2. What are the present needs of the customer? Are they potentially fulfilled by current technology? 3. What would be the reaction of the customer if some of the factors mentioned in point 1 progress in such or such a way? In the context of the answers to these questions and within the environment defined above and the period 1995-2000, the study should develop: - Perspectives for market segmentation in terms of existing and foreseeable telecommunications products; - Recommendations for potential actions of the Commission in order to promote the take-off of those market segments; - Recommendations for the focusing of future RTD actions to support advanced telecommunications services and applications; - Recommendations regarding the use of any kind of alternative existing type of infrastructures, such as satellite and mobile personal communications. Each tender is invited to present methodologies avoiding approaches based on enquiries sent by mail or statistical extrapolations from previous behaviour. Preference will be given to proposals presenting methodologies based on field work, analysis of real case studies and consequences derived from real (pilot) situations. An information day will take place from 09.30 to 13.00 on 31 May 1995 at: Centre A. Borschette Rue Froissart 36 B-1040 Brussels The terms of reference may be requested from: European Commission Directorate-General for Telecommunications, Information Market and Exploitation of Research DG XIII/A Mr. P. Picard 200 rue de la Loi (BU-9 5/176) B-1049 Brussels Tel. +32-2-2968342; Fax +32-2-2968393 Proposals must be sent to the same address.