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March 05, 2008
The Future is Bright for IPTV, According to Research Report
By Brian Solomon, TMCnet Web Editor
ABI Research (News - Alert) predicts that IPTV subscribers will surpass 90 million in five years. The prediction calls for a dramatic surge, since as of 2007, subscribers worldwide numbered only around 13.5 million.
Only a handful of Canadian operators and smaller regional operators in the United States have offered IPTV until very recently. Last year, Verizon (News - Alert) and AT&T began to achieve some scale in their fiber deployments, which contributed to IPTV growth in the U.S.
In Western Europe, where IPTV (News - Alert) has already been available for nine years, the market is relatively well-developed. Nevertheless, there is still room for growth, since some large markets like the U.K. and Germany still have comparatively low penetration.
IPTV got a foothold in Asia when PCCW (News - Alert) launched its service in Hong Kong, but the region has thus far been a disappointment as far as the number of IPTV subscribers. This has been attributed to regulatory issues and low broadband penetration. ABI Research does predict strong growth ahead as these problems are dealt with.
“The IPTV market as a whole is poised for strong growth,” said ABI senior analyst Cesar Bachelet. “But clearly it will be stronger in some areas than in others. ABI Research anticipates particularly substantial growth in North America and most emerging markets.”
Expanding IPTV markets give opportunities to vendors of the necessary infrastructure, ie. video servers, middleware, set-top boxes, etc. The high-def migration from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 encoding and the addition of new functionality opens up even more opportunities.
Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page.
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