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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 09, 2008

Researchers: IPTV to Grow at 33 Percent Annually through 2013 in Asia-Pacific

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

A prominent IT industry research firm today is calling for a more aggressive marketing approach to capitalize on an increasingly popular IP-based television market in the Asia-Pacific region.
Officials at Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) say service providers must do more than simply market IPTV services as another part of their so-called “n-play” offerings.
According to Adeel Najam, a research analyst with the firm, telecom companies won’t attract cable and satellite TV subscribers unless they offer more content. Operators with broadband speeds of 10 megabits per second must offer IPTV (News - Alert) to optimize their bandwidth capacity.
“Service providers with high-speed broadband transmission networks have the competitive advantage in deploying IPTV services as they can leverage their networks to offer bandwidth intensive services like high-definition TV,” Najam said. “The first line of attack for any fixed-network operator to realistically transform into multi-play service providers offering voice, data and video services is by converting its existing broadband subscribers. This will ensure lower subscriber churn rates and increase operator revenues and average revenue per user through service bundling.”

The Asia-Pacific IPTV market is fertile.
Frost & Sullivan reports that the subscriber base in the region, which includes 13 nations, hit 4.1 million last year, and will reach 22.4 million by the end of 2013. The growth reflects an annual growth rate of nearly 33 percent.
As TMC reported, the area’s potential led one Alameda, California-based company to provide a platform for a new advertising system in China.
Officials from UTStarcom (News - Alert), Inc. say that a subsidiary of China Telecom Corporation Limited wants to use their IPTV platform “RollingStream” to deploy a new system. In building the video-based advertising for the subsidiary, called Guangzi Telecom Company Limited, officials from UTStarcom say they’re doing the first work of its kind in the communist nation.
According to Robert Wu, chief executive officer of UTStarcom China, the company has a background in deploying and scaling “advance” IPTV solutions.
“The advertising deployment with Guangxi Telecom is a strong demonstration of how UTStarcom is enabling new interactive applications based on our RollingStream platform, and we’ll continue to work with leading service providers to provide innovative services for their customers,” Wu said.
The work marks the industry’s belief that IPTV will grow in a place where its future once seemed uncertain.
One European firm, Research and Markets, predicted that lack of awareness of IPTV and tight government regulations could suppress the technologies’ growth in China.
And yet, the research firm reported, “Due to slow progress of digital TV in China, the IPTV industry can develop with fairly wide window of opportunity. In the next three to five years, we predict that IPTV will face intense competition.”
According to Frost & Sullivan, South Korea still lacks a “true” IPTV service.
The research firm reports that Hong Kong claims the highest household IPTV penetration rate at 45.3 percent, “and is the only market where IPTV dominates the pay-TV industry, with a 46.7 percent subscriber market share in 2007 through its incumbent PCCW (News - Alert).”
“Cable TV controls 41 percent of Hong Kong’s 2.18 million pay-TV subscriber market, while satellite direct-to-home services hold the remaining 12.3 percent,” Frost & Sullivan reports.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is The Compelling ROI Benefits of Contact Center Quality and Performance Management Technologies, brought to you by Voice Print International (News - Alert).

Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan