The number of subscribers to internet protocol television (IPTV) services provided by telecoms operators and broadband companies doubled globally in the first half of 2006, according to Point- Topic. The telecoms market research group estimates there were nearly 3m IPTV subscribers by the end of June, up from just under 1.5m on last year.
Point-Topic said Europe is the most important region for IPTV, with the strongest growth in subscriber numbers during the period and a large number of service launches. Europe had 1.5m IPTV subscribers at the end of the first half, up from 521,000 in 2005. The Asia-Pacific region had 987,000 subscribers, up from 612,000, while the Americas had 409,000 subscribers, up from 267,000, with the rest of the world making up the remainder.
Hong Kong's PCCW remains the largest IPTV operator, with 444,000 paying IPTV subscribers, and a total of 654,000 TV connections (not all TV services require a paying subscription). France Telecom had over 300,000 paying customers, while Telefonica in Spain grew strongly to 267,000 TV subscribers.
Point-Topic's research shows that the picture of IPTV development worldwide remains complex, with take-up depending on market conditions, the most important being competition with established cable and satellite operators, and the local regulatory environment. Some regulators in some territories will not allow telcos to enter the TV market; in other cases telcos are allowed to carry TV over fibre optic connections, but not traditional copper wires.
Lovelace Consulting | 21.12.2006