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IPTV touches 2.95 mn subscribers: Point Topic study

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MUMBAI: Research firm Point Topic has come out with a report on the growth of IPTV.

The report states that Global IPTV subscribers reached 2.95 million as of 30 June 2006, up two-fold from 1.47 million a year earlier.

Hong Kong's PCCW is the largest IPTV operator worldwide with 444,000 paying IPTV subscribers, followed by France Telecom with over 300,000 and Spain's Telefonica with 267,000 paying IPTV subscribers.

Europe is the most important region for IPTV, displaying the strongest growth in subscriber numbers during that time-frame.

The Asia-Pacific region had 987,000 IPTV subscribers at end-June, versus 612,000 a year earlier; Europe had 1.51 million, up from 521,000; and the Americas had 409,000, up from 267,000.

Point-Topic?s research shows that the picture of IPTV development worldwide remains a complex one. The success of an operator in executing an IPTV strategy depends on many things. The most important are

- the local competitive environment, in the form of cable and direct-to-home (DTH) satellite operators

- the local regulatory environment. In some cases, the regulator will not permit telcos to enter the TV market, in other cases telcos are allowed to carry TV over fibre but not copper, and in other cases there are no restrictions

- the type and condition of the network. Operators with a largely fibre network, such as FastWeb and PCCW, were able to deploy IPTV early. Operators with unsuitable copper networks, especially in the US, are building fibre to enable services such as IPTV.

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