Olivetti has teamed with major telecoms companies in a bid to grab market share before EU deregulation in 1998.
The company has signed deals with France Telecom, US companies Video West and Bell Atlantic, but faces a dilemma over earnings from PCs, services and phones.
Martin Bangemann, EU commissioner for telecoms competition, is responsible for ensuring deregulation happens.
A source said: 'Last year Olivetti earned 1.7 per cent from telecoms.
It has consortia formed, but it will not get licences until 1998.' PCs accounted for 13.7 per cent of earnings, office products 20.4 per cent and services 50.8 per cent.
'EU deregulation will happen in 1998 and the UK will be the model,' said Adrian May, a consultant at market research firm Ovum. 'They're liberalising in Europe like they did in the UK 10 years ago.' That has to happen by 1998.
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