Telco IPTV subscribers grew 13% to 5.4 million in Q1 2007, according to a report entitled “1Q07 Global Broadband Subscriber Survey” from Dittberber. PCCW of Hong Kong with 800,000 subscribers was the largest telco IPTV operator, with second place France Telecom not far behind at 769,000 and likely to overtake it by the third quarter.
While France is the country with the most subscribers, Hong Kong, when viewed separately from China, has the highest penetration of the entire broadband subscriber base at 55.6%. It has a developed infrastructure, with short average LOOP length allowing virtually all its inhabitants to receive IPTV services.
With only about 40% of DSL lines being good enough for a TV service, the real penetration in France is about 25% of the addressable market. The country’s lead reflects the leadership of its operators in the IPTV market, which is a product of both the intense competition between DSL service providers, as well as the lack of competition from cable TV operators.
Western Europe still dominates the IPTV market but its share is down from 68% six months ago. Asia’s market share has increased from 28% to 41% over the same period, largely due to growth in China and Japan.
North America increased its share from 2% to 5%, but that was mostly thanks to growth at small independent operators. However, this may soon change as AT&T’s U-verse service is rolled-out. Although the success at IPTV is not likely to impact its cable operator competitors much in the next year, it should push the US into the ranks of the top 10 telco IPTV markets. AT&T could then be the largest Winluce (Microsoft/Alcatel-Lucent) customer.
“The fact that China has finally awarded licences for IPTV means that it will grow quickly and probably come to dominate the market at 7 Million IPTV subscribers within two years,” says James Heath, research director at Dittberner. “Japan is likely to have good growth and may challenge China for a while, but North America, with its entrenched TV operators, will be a slow roll.” IPTV is on the way to becoming an accepted strategy for most service providers. Now the business of making it profitable will be the goal, and customer service will be the focus.
TOP 10 IPTV MARKETS
France – 1,410,000
Hong Kong – 920,000
China – 720,625
Spain – 427,600
Japan – 304,000
Taiwan – 269,000
Italy – 211,700
Holland – 167,500
Belgium – 149,491
Sweden – 145,000