SINGAPORE, 9 OCTOBER 2008 - The IPTV subscriber base in Asia Pacific reached 4.1 million in 2007 and is expected to reach 22.4 million by end-2013, according to a Frost & Sullivan study.
The compound annual growth rate is estimated at 32.7 per cent.
Of the 13 countries surveyed, eight had commercial IPTV services last year, while the rest are conducting trials for expected deployments from next year onwards.
Asia Pacific accounted for about a third of the global IPTV subscriber base last year. The top two regional countries by subscribers as at end-2007 were Hong Kong and China. Hong Kong had 1.02 million subscribers, or 24.9 per cent of the regions IPTV customer base while China had 930,000 subscribers, or 22.7 per cent.
Hong Kong has the highest household IPTV penetration rate at 45.3 per cent. It is the only market where IPTV dominates the pay-TV industry with a 46.7 per cent subscriber market share last year through telco PCCW.
But PCCW had only a handful of successful IPTV roll-outs. It launched its IPTV service in 2003, being one of the few in the world. And with earnings margins still in the red for most, if not all, IPTV service providers, critics argue that the business case for IPTV does not exist.
Frost & Sullivan research analyst Adeel Najam believes that IPTV requires a full-throttle implementation to really take-off. As the broadcasting and pay-TV industry is uncharted territory for most telecom players, telcos will need to penetrate the market with an offensive approach, complete with a content acquisition strategy, to successfully attract cable or satellite TV subscribers.
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