Video services

Telekom Austria's IPTV Growth Slows

1:55 PM -- Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) provided its customary annual subscriber base update today ahead of its full year financials (not due until February 24), and its IPTV numbers revealed a slowdown in annual growth. (See Telekom Austria Unveils Q4 Subs.)

The Austrian incumbent says it ended 2009 with 101,300 customers for its aonTV service, up 58.9 percent from the end of 2008. In actual subscriber growth, aonTV added 37,600 customers last year.

However, that's down compared with the previous year. The IPTV service attracted 52,770 new customers in 2008, growing from 10,930 at the end of 2007 to 63,700 twelve months later. (See T Austria Boasts Fine End to '08.)

That slowdown can't be blamed on a reduced appetite for broadband, though, as the carrier's high-speed fixed access business attracted more new customers last year than in 2008.

In 2009, Telekom Austria added 136,900 fixed broadband customers to take its total to 1,022,600. In 2008, it added 135,000 fixed broadband connections, ending the year with 885,700.

Many hypotheses could be trotted out at this point to suggest why the growth has slowed while broadband uptake is slightly up, but it looks as if the early adopters have got what they wanted and now the IPTV sales process will likely only get harder for Telekom Austria.

Look out for some targeted marketing around this summer's World Cup (football/soccer) in South Africa from the likes of Telekom Austria (and other IPTV players in Europe and elsewhere) as they try to figure out ways to make use of their IP platforms to outdo their terrestrial and cable rivals -- and send signup rates climbing again.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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