Growth of DTH in Asia Pacific likely to boost future consumer satellite services

MUMBAI: The Asia Pacific region offers the strongest growth potential and opportunities in the next five years for Direct-to-Home (DTH) service providers, particularly multisystem operators (MSO).

DTH video is the flagship service to establish a foothold in previously underserved emerging markets. By achieving economies of scale and providing quality local content, service providers can capture a huge and profitable consumer base.

New analysis from global growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan, Asia Pacific Satellite DTH Market reveals that the total pay-TV market -- covering nine Asia-Pacific countries -- was worth $19.24 billion in 2005, and is forecasted to reach $45.20 billion in 2012. Satellite DTH services alone will account for approximately 46.3 per cent, or $20.91 billion, of the total pay-TV revenues in 2012.

Frost & Sullivan research analyst James Lye says, "The reality of the next decade for DTH service providers is convergence. To create new revenue streams, providers need to shift beyond individual technology and service platforms towards an MSO model, reaching consumers through any efficient medium."

Consumers are increasingly looking to a single provider for integrated solutions -- offering voice, data and video services. The Asia-Pac region offers unique opportunities as newly emergent communities demand telecommunication services in vast unwired areas. By using video content as the flagship offering, DTH providers can gain a strong position in the market and uncover ways of tapping into the lucrative voice and data demand.

A DTH provider needs to achieve economies of scale, resulting in lower operating costs, breaking key price barriers for consumer adoption, as well as granting easy access to premium content. However, establishing a region-wide service can be hindered by stringent regulations prevalent in many Asia-Pac countries.

"The lack of local language content often limits the potential customer base. Premium content will drive initial growth, but content relevant to the local or regional scene will sustain interest and customer loyalty" adds Lye.

In the highly fragmented Asia Pacific market, it is important to provide not only premium global content, but also superior quality local programs to differentiate the service offerings from other available ones. The key to capturing the regional market is specialised content, inclusive of local sports, news and entertainment, which requires local production capabilities.

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