China's media regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft), has awarded the country's first internet protocol television (IPTV) licence to the Shanghai Media Group (SMG).
According to the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post, Sarft will issue the licence in the next few days and specify the scope of the IPTV service.
The licence award marks a major change in China's media policy laws: television stations and telecommunications companies were prohibited from offering converged services.
Several companies are now set to enter the IPTV market, spurred by China's fast-growing broadband internet market. Alcatel expects at least 15% of the country's broadband market will subscribe to IPTV services by 2007.
The licence award coincides with the release of a forecast by Dublin-based Research and Markets that by 2008 there will be 25.3m global IPTV subscribers, up from 1.9m in 2004.
IPTV subscriber revenue is expected to grow from $635m in 2004 to $7.2bn in 2008.
Lovelacemedia | 03.05.2005