Profiling IPTV (Part I): The next gen TV!
IPTV on Global Stage
From its first deployments in 1999, IPTV has grown in strength, quality and numbers over the ten years of its existence. The estimated subscriber base was 23mn in 2008 which grew to 26.7 mn by 2009 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 32% to 81mn by the end of 2013. In terms of service revenue, global IPTV market is $6.7 bn in 2009 and is expected to grow to $19.9 bn by 2013 as per industry estimates. Globally, there are around 120 IPTV service providers in over sixty countries, with Europe and the far eastern markets taking the top spots. Currently, Hong Kong, France, Taiwan, and Belgium are leading the pack in terms of IPTV penetration. By 2013, Europe and North America will generate a larger share of global revenue, due to low ARPUs in China and India, the fastest growing markets (and the biggest) in Asia.
Major developments over the last few years has led to IPTV foray into Asian countries. These include:
• Deployment of IPTV services over ADSL access on telephone wire or without internet/broadband connection
• Another major milestone for IPTV was approval of a new ITU standard that supports global rollout of IPTV services which would encourage many global IPTV service providers to look at the Indian market either to provide services directly or the cable operator route.
Globally, cable operators abroad are starting to deliver IPTV services over Docsis 3.0, a CableLabs platform that bursts data in excess of 100 Mbit/s.
The Indian IPTV Market
Indian IPTV market is at a nascent stage where it is being deployed over DSL, ADSL and ADSL2+ network infrastructure owned by operators like BSNL, MTNL, and Airtel. Interestingly state owned companies are aggressively promoting IPTV while private players (Airtel and Reliance) have kept a low profile. Recently BSNL and MTNL along with Smart Digivision (official franchisee for IPTV) announced ‘MyWay’ that will be launched in over fifty-four cities, the largest IPTV launch in the country. Smart Digivision plans to offer IPTV services to 1.6-1.7 mn broadband subscribers of BSNL and MTNL in these selected cities which comprise 80% of the country’s broadband subscriber base. Private players believe DTH is for masses and IPTV is for the classes. However, in the long run IPTV can become an ARPU driver.
The scenario for IPTV market in India is driven by certain factors like interactivity, value added services, customer end benefits, and fueling broadband demand. India still has a long way to go before IPTV can pick up momentum like wireless communication or DTH services. India has a lot of problems that exists as a barrier for growth of IPTV in India.
India is not only a potential market for IPTV, but can also become a hub for innovation and the next technological breakthrough in global IPTV market as is clearly evident from the amount of interest shown by biggies like Cisco, UTStarcom, CopperGate.