Despite differences between the more developed Western European markets and the emergingmarkets of Central and Eastern Europe, the overall strategies of the various operators in the region remainthe same, albeit at different stages. As the potential for organic growth is limited, operators aim to migratecustomers to more advanced plans and upsell new services as part of a convergent strategy. Competitionwill focus on services rather than networks but these still require funding, with investments under pressurefrom low prices. This is due to the tough macroeconomic environment in many markets, which impactsdisposable income and regulation. This remains a downside risk to the region's development as operatorsstruggle to convince consumers to switch to more advanced technologies such as fibre and LTE.
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The European LTE market is catching up, but continues to lag behind its global rivals. EE in the UK isthe European leader, with a penetration of 80.7% as of Q217, but only a limited number of Europeanoperators break the 50% mark.