Video services

Europe Dominates IPTV Landscape

LONDON -- IPTV World Forum 2009 -- If you're looking for some IPTV action, come to Europe.

According to the statistics compiled for the Broadband Forum by research house Point Topic Ltd. , there were 21.8 million IPTV subscribers globally at the end of 2008, of which nearly 10.4 million were in Western Europe and a further 884,000 in Eastern Europe, giving the region 51.4 percent of the worldwide market. (See table below.)

Table 1: IPTV Subscribers by Region
Region IPTV subscribers at the end of 2008 IPTV subscribers at the end of 2007
Western Europe 10,388,000 7,045,860
Eastern Europe 884,466 465,223
North America 3,835,544 1,774,671
South & East Asia 3,615,000 1,840,000
Asia/Pacific 3,082,182 2,199,828
Latin America 21,495 8,991
Mideast & Africa 10,000 10,000
Global total 21,836,687 13,344,573
Source: Broadband Forum/Point Topic

And one country, France, accounts for more than a quarter of the world's IPTV customer base, with 5.7 million subscribers at the end of last year, according to Point Topic's numbers. There, Orange (NYSE: FTE), Iliad (Euronext: ILD), and SFR are competing fiercely for telco TV customers.

According to Point Topic, France and Iceland each boast an IPTV household penetration of more than 20 percent.

The Broadband Forum also unveiled its latest global broadband market data. It says the worldwide fixed broadband customer base grew by 62.6 million in 2008 to end the year at 410.9 million. China is now the single biggest market, with nearly 83.4 million broadband subscribers, followed by the U.S. with 79.1 million.

Those two markets are a long way ahead of third-place Japan, which has 30.3 million broadband users, and Germany, with 23.4 million.

In technology terms, DSL accounts for 65 percent of the world's broadband connections, followed by cable with 21 percent, and FTTx (fiber to the whatever) with 12 percent.

Point Topic's figures come a day after Informa Telecoms & Media released its global IPTV numbers for 2008, which came in slightly lower at 20.12 million.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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