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Friday, July 15, 2005

Asia & IPTV Adoption

Rajesh points to Om Malik's writing that Asia Leads The IPTV Revolution adding "South East Asia region is the current leader in IPTV adoption, with seven out of 13 countries already having rolled out some sort of service including PCCW’s NOW, which is the largest IPTV deployment in the world, and accounts for one third of the total global IPTV subscribers. Gartner estimates that the number of IPTV subscribers in these countries will double by end of 2005. New broadband networks capable of supporting higher speed flavors of DSL is one of the reason for quicker take-off and high population density and short geographical coverage makes higher deployment of DSL/Broadband easier in that part of the world. Second reason - there are no legacy cable networks(I think should be read as untapped market for cable is high),the massive scale adoption in Asia could give the region a leg-up in defining the future direction of IPTV as well."
The converge digest report highlights that the real "growth" markets in Asia are China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan. These countries are yet almost virgin territory for IPTV but have the population, government commitment, industry initiative and broadband penetration to foster growth in IPTV. At the opposite end however, there is also market saturation. Hong Kong for example, Asia's second most developed broadband market, is a mature market for IPTV already and does not present many growth opps. But China may still have a long way to go as the country, more so than elsewhere in the region, still is in its infancy when it comes to such crucial issues as bandwidth availability, affordability of service, content, regulation and piracy. These factors could slow down the IPTV service roll out significantly going forward.
The technology is still young & there is limited experience in terms of service roll out and experience.Multitude of challenges confront operators in providing a robust, future-proof service, including content-related complexities such as rights negotiation, costs and content security, and technological complexities including availability, maturity of technology, costs, middleware, architecture design, equipment choice. The next 12-18 months will be an exciting time to watch as more operators launch their services. They success or failure will determine the future of Pay TV in Asia and the world. I think that we are seeing adoptions all across -in Europe( Microsoft is working with several players there) and in the US as well(BellSouth). In Asia Pacific ,We saw Telstra recently stopping the IPTV rollout. John Dvorak maintains a good list of IPTV Players.

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