& cplSiteName &

China Shapes Up for IPTV Boom

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
5/9/2005
50%
50%

As IPTV fever takes hold in North America and Europe, there are increasing signs that it's rapidly spreading to the world's biggest single potential market, China (see SBC: IPTV's Day Has Come and Europe Tunes In to IPTV).

With broadband penetration increasing rapidly (25.8 million subscribers, including 17 million DSL users, at the end of 2004, a rise of 35 percent in the second half of the year, according to Point Topic Ltd.) and service providers launching services, vendors are latching on to the market's enormous potential (see Orca Finds IPTV Partner in China, Chinese Firms Strike IPTV Deal, and Report: DSL Subs Top 100M).

IPTV equipment provider Optibase Ltd. (Nasdaq: OBAS), which has offices in Beijing, has already registered success with one of the country's biggest carriers, China Netcom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CN; Hong Kong: 0906). (See Optibase Enables IPTV in China .)

The operator is using Optibase's MovieMaker 400 encoder to translate satellite feeds into MPEG-4 streams, which are then transported across the carrier's network and delivered to televisions and PCs across a DSL connection.

And one of Optibase's encoding system rivals, Tut Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: TUTS), has struck a distribution deal with Chinese equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. that gives it a route into the Chinese market. And IPTV middleware provider, Orca Interactive Ltd., has forged a partnership with Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (NYSE: HPQ) HP China Consulting & Integration Services to target China's service providers (see Orca Finds IPTV Partner in China).

Orca's VP of marketing, Yosi Glick, says his company's software was recently installed at two Chinese carriers, including "one of the country's two major fixed-line providers." That would mean Netcom or China Telecommunications Corp. (NYSE: CHA). The other engagement is with a smaller FTTH operator.

"IPTV is going to get a major boost in China in the next few years," reckons Glick, who believes the country's cable operators will also look to move towards IPTV systems. "All the market projections neglect the prospect that cable operators will move to IPTV systems sooner or later -- most likely sooner."

Glick adds that Orca is seeing competition in China from some small local players and from in-house developments at the carriers, but that "we're also starting to see Huawei, and UTStarcom will be a serious competitor with its integrated systems." (See UTStarcom, Myrio Have Their IPTV .)

The near-term opportunities for these companies are relatively limited, however, as the market is still embryonic. That's set to change over the next few years, though. According to IDC there will likely be fewer than 300,000 IPTV subscribers in China by the end of 2005, but this figure is due to grow quickly to reach 9 million in 2008.

"IPTV provides tremendous opportunity to broadband service providers," writes IDC China senior analyst Michael Yan in a report on broadband services. "Content providers are the keys for the success of the whole value chain in providing IPTV service," he adds, echoing the thoughts of others in the sector (see Content Deals May Swing IPTV Acceptance).

While they work on their content strategies, China's major carriers are taking their first IPTV steps. Leading fixed-line operator China Telecom is already offering services and plans to launch broadcast TV over broadband in every major city in southern China by the end of 2005 (see China Telecom Launches IPTV).

In order to provide suitable end-user equipment as it rolls out its services, the carrier has signed up consumer electronics firm Changhong to develop IPTV sets and IP video phones.

China Telecom argues that its service, called ChinaVnet, is just one of many broadband services and can therefore be provided under its remit from telecom regulator, the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), rather than requiring additional clearance from another government body, the State Administration of Radio, Film, and TV (SARFT).

There's a turf war brewing between the MII and SARFT as to which administration should be issuing IPTV licenses, but with the upper echelons of government focused on developments and licensing issues in the 3G mobile sector, little attention is likely to be given to IPTV for a while. In the meantime, the major operators and broadcast players are looking to forge ahead and let regulations catch up later.

One carrier with regulatory clearance from SARFT is China Netcom, which has formed an IPTV joint venture, Tiantian Online, with a number of overseas investors.

As part of its service rollout, Netcom is offering IPTV to 50,000 broadband customers in the Tangshan metropolitan area, and is believed to be developing further expansion with the help of Hong Kong operator PCCW Ltd. (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008), in which Netcom took a 20 percent stake earlier this year (see China Netcom Invests in PCCW).

PCCW is one of the IPTV pioneers, having signed up 416,000 subscribers to its Now TV service by the end of 2004 (see IPTV Tidbits: Microsoft, China & More, PCCW Expands IPTV Deal With Tut, and PCCW Uses Tandberg for IPTV).

And it's not just the major carriers launching services. Online portals, such as Chinavb are adding TV channels to their offerings.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading, and Mike Newlands, freelance writer

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Shades of Ray
Why Analytics Is the Tech World's Digital Glue

3|27|17   |   02:20   |   (0) comments


It was obvious at the massive annual CeBIT enterprise tech trade show that the foundation for tech innovation right now is real-time analytics.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


Light Reading talked to George McGregor of Citrix about the NetScaler Mobile Gateway - an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Nokia & Facebook Push Undersea Fiber to 32 Tbit/s
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 3/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.