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Mature IPTV in Asia-Pacific is a Guiding Force

Competition between IPTV and cable or satellite pay-TV providers is heating up in Asia, with IPTV poised to gain significant market share over the next several years, according to an In-Stat study.

With the help of IPTV, incumbent telcos have the opportunity to fundamentally change their broadband customer's video service user experience, from traditional video clip streaming to downloading and just plain watching TV.

"There has been no conclusive evidence showing whether IPTV or cable/satellite pay-TV will ultimately win the customer's vote," says Alice Zhang, In-Stat analyst. "In the Asia-Pacific region, it is expected that both traditional cable/satellite pay-TV and IPTV will co-exist at least for the next several years."

I believe that In-Stat's point about co-existence is valid. However, the innovative leadership that was inherent in the PCCW IPTV launch -- within the competitive Hong Kong market -- has proven that telcos can find and target significant unmet consumer needs, and thereby differentiate their offering. Developments in the Asia-Pacific region are therefore very relevant to all other less-advanced markets for IPTV.

Asia-Pacific service provider innovation has become a key guiding force for other regions.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- There were 2.7 million IPTV subscribers in Asia in 2006, and this number is expected to exceed 33 million by 2012.

- Total revenue from consumers of IPTV content broadcasted in Asia-Pacific will reach $8 billon by 2012.

- Mature markets include Japan and Hong Kong, contributing to about 60 percent of the total Asia-Pacific subscriber population in 2006; these markets are expected to continue to lead Asia-Pacific in IPTV development.

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