Preliminary results from IMS Research’s forthcoming 2010 study on The World Market for set-top boxes and iDTVs has revealed that nearly 26% of EMEA’s digital STB shipments were deployed into Central and Eastern Europe in 2009. By 2012, IMS Research estimates that the region will comprise nearly 33% of EMEA’s digital STB shipments.
According to Rebecca Kurlak, co-author of the study, the top five markets contributing the most to digital STB shipment growth are Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary. Russia alone comprises 58% of CEE’s shipments and 15% of EMEA’s 2009 STB shipments, while the remaining top four countries account for 7.25% of EMEA’s 2009 STB shipments and 28% of CEE’s STB shipments.
Kurlak said in a statement, “As of Q4 2009, a few Russian pay-TV operators had announced the availability of HD PVRs which is propelling the pay-TV market forward more than ever before. Satellite operator Orion Express and telco Vimpelcom are the first to offer HD PVR STBs and are expected to experience subscriber growth because they are making the first move towards advanced services. Orion is expected to experience a 10.5% growth and Vimpelcom a 39% growth by year end 2010.”
The Russian pay-TV market is expanding in larger cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersberg as subscribers gain interest in advanced services that are not currently available via FTA equipment such as HDTV, PVR, VOD services, and other content offerings at reasonable monthly package prices. Operators are attempting to capitalise on this emerging trend and grab attention however they can to sway subscribers to their respective services. In September 2009, satellite operator Tricolor announced that it would provide free broadband services through Eutelsat’s W7 satellite to subscribers in small towns that do not currently have the Internet. In addition, cable operator Mostelecom rolled out its’ hybrid cable/IP network in order to launch IP-based services such as VOD, VoIP and IPTV.
Kurlak concluded, “The Russian pay-TV market has just begun to reap the rewards of a true pay-TV market. Operators’ efforts of implementing network infrastructure upgrades and advanced services will quickly create a ROI that will continue to pay dividends for years to come.”