Early Days for Asia's IPTV

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According to the statistics of Broadband Forum, IPTV (Internet Protocol television) adoption is seeing strong growth across most regions in the world, particularly in Eastern Europe and Latin America, which both expanded by 109 percent from first quarter-2008 to first quarter-2009.

However, the overall Asia-Pacific region showed a smaller 14 percent growth rate. In particular, it was the only region to register a negative growth rate, dipping by 1.7 percent, in the first quarter of this year over the previous quarter.

Measured as a region, South and East Asia showed a growth rate of 91 percent over last year, the negative figure was "an anomaly", resulting from an operator in South Korea dropping a lower tier of their IPTV subscribers. the operator's ability to remove and discontinue lower-tier services to its subscriber base, while its counterparts in other countries are focusing on growing their subscriber count as a priority, "may be indicative of the maturity" of Korea's IPTV industry.

Chinese operators were most aggressively rolling out IPTV services, with China Telecom adding 250,000 subscribers and China Unicom adding 100,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2009. Also, the number of active IPTV lines in China is projected to grow from 2.2 million at end-2008, to some 6.6 million by end-2010, and a further 14.9 million by the end of 2012.

As Asia-Pacific region is at the early stages of IPTV [deployment] and the growth will be still exploding, the Asia-Pacific IPTV subscriber base is expected to reach 8.7 million in 2012, generating US$3.5 billion in revenue.

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