Europe leads global rush to IPTV

Europe leads global rush to IPTV

But emerging markets are catching up fast

Europe still leads the global IPTV market, but China, eastern Europe and Russia are fast catching up, experts reported today.

MRG's latest biannual IPTV Forecast found that North America is seeing steady growth by independent operators, and accelerated growth by the large telcos.

IPTV subscriptions are projected to jump from 13.5 million in 2007 to 72.6 million in 2011, at a 40 per cent compounded annual growth rate.

Large European carriers are planning for future converged services with an emphasis on profitability, improved operations and sustained growth, but such offerings are still over 18 months away, according to the research.

Len Feldman, director of IPTV analysis at MRG, said: "We have substantially increased our global subscriber forecast for 2011, in large part because we are more optimistic about the probability for market success in China, India and Korea.

"We slightly decreased our subscriber forecast for 2007, from 14.3 million to 13.5 million, but paradoxically, our forecast for total system revenues went up from $2.1bn to $2.5bn."

Europe will remain the number-one IPTV market in terms of subscribers through to 2011, but Asia is catching up quickly and is likely to surpass Europe in 2012-2013.

"In North America, Verizon and AT&T are growing considerably faster than we previously forecasted, and we expect Verizon to be the world's largest IPTV service provider in 2011," said Feldman.

The analyst noted that MPEG-4/AVC is consistently replacing MPEG-2 in new installations, as MPEG-2 ceases to be sold even in cost-sensitive markets like China and eastern Europe.

Although DSL continues as the dominant last-mile technology, fibre-to-the-home is beginning to show more traction in new and established areas.