Looking for IPTV? Then move to France.
French service providers dominate the new Light Reading report, Top Ten: IPTV Carriers, which ranks the world's leading telco TV players by number of subscribers.
Our list includes three French carriers, with, perhaps controversially, competitive operator Iliad top of the pile, followed by France Telecom SA in second place. Neuf Cegetel Group follows closely behind in fourth spot, with only Hong Kong's PCCW Ltd. breaking the French strangehold on the top of the chart.
PCCW also scored well when we looked at IPTV penetration rates -- that is, the percentage of broadband subscribers paying for real-time TV services delivered over a DSL or fiber access connection. Only the Hong Kong operator and Iliad, which markets its triple-play services using its Free brand, boasted an IPTV penetration rate of more than 50 percent.
France isn't the only European nation to grace the list -- in fact, Europe provides a whopping seven of the leading 10 IPTV players currently, with representatives from Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Sweden also making the cut. The remaining three entries come from Asia/Pacific, with North America failing to pitch in.
Europe's dominance is set to wane, though.
The Top 10 list is set to be updated regularly and is unlikely to remain static as service providers around the world ramp up their TV-over-broadband offerings and figure out the best ways to attract customers with the right package that, quite often, faces strong competition either from cable or satellite rivals.
Expect to see other European operators, such as Deutsche Telekom AG and Telecom Italia SpA making the grade at some point in the near future, while AT&T Inc. is likely to be North America's first representative.
New entrants from Asia/Pacific are also expected, as Korea has recently given the green light to the delivery of linear TV services over broadband, while Japan's Softbank BB Corp. and China Netcom Corp. Ltd. will almost certainly feature if they can confirm their current IPTV subscriber numbers.
For the full report, see Top Ten: IPTV Carriers.
â€” Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading