IPTV subscribers in Asia Pacific expected to reach 27.4 million by 2013: Frost and Sullivan report

MUMBAI: The Frost and Sullivan research service titled Asia Pacific IPTV Market provides an in-depth analysis of IPTV scenario in 12 markets across Asia Pacific.

The research service identifies the market demand, competitive landscape, key drivers and restraints for the IPTV market.

Further, the study presents detailed forecast patterns for revenues and ARPU trends for various countries in Asia Pacific. In this research service, Frost and Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the markets of Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Growth of Broadband Spurs IPTV Deployments

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is fast making headway across the entire Asia Pacific region. The deployment of IPTV in the region has been further hastened by the explosion of broadband in various high growth markets across Asia Pacific, even as service providers across the region have invested heavily in the network infrastructure required for offering these services.

IPTV has generated a new revenue stream, amidst dwindling fixed line revenues, and rapid advancements in compression, transmission, and watermarking technologies have enabled more and more service providers to jump onto the IPTV bandwagon. In line with these trends, the Asia Pacific IPTV market is set for considerable growth over the forecast period, with the number of IPTV subscribers expected to increase from the existing 1,47,000 to 27.4 million by 2013.

However, poor broadband infrastructure in key growth markets such as China, India, and the Philippines coupled with lack of quality content have restrained the growth of IPTV in the region. Furthermore, access to quality content has been a common challenge for service providers.

The analyst of this research service said, "While partnerships with content providers and broadcasting companies go a long way in securing access rights, the cable TV providers or the IPTV market leaders already have exclusive access to this content. This arrangement makes it difficult for other service providers to scale their service to meet the users' requirements."

China and India expected to be high growth ,arkets

With respect to individual regional markets, Hong Kong is already a mature market for IPTV services, and is expected to be heading toward saturation by 2009. China and India are perceived as high growth markets for IPTV by 2009. By 2013, China along with Hong Kong is expected to contribute nearly 60 per cent of the total Asia Pacific IPTV revenues. With 47.8 million subscribers, China has the largest broadband subscriber base in Asia Pacific in 2006, out of which nearly 70 per cent are residential subscribers.

In Australia, IPTV is entering a crucial stage in its development, moving away from a technology under trial, into full commercial deployment. While it could take another three years for IPTV to enter the growth stage, service providers' early adoption of IPTV services and aggressive pricing strategies are expected to contribute to the success of the technology in Australia.

Presently, IPTV is deployed in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. The service is expected to be introduced in India and the Philippines in 2007, and despite the lack of bandwidth in most markets, the demand for interactive entertainment has lured service providers to offer IPTV-based content in the form of video-on-demand (VoD) and channel-based offerings.

Analyst further added, "As the service providers take the first few tentative steps, response from IPTV users has been positive in most markets. Service providers need to look beyond immediate revenue opportunities to understand the long-term importance of IPTV as a carrier distribution platform, over which many consumer communication and entertainment services can be offered simultaneously."

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