Minu Sirsalewala December 23, 2006 14:58:03 IST

For those eagerly awaiting Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), it could be here sooner than you think. Shrinking wireline revenues, consumer demand for greater control over viewing preferences and the explosion of broadband are fast making the Asia-Pacific region a market ripe for IPTV.

Realizing the growth opportunity, service providers across the region are investing heavily in equipping their networks to offer IPTV and other data services. According to a recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan, the APAC IPTV Market is likely to increase from the current $353.4 million to $512.4 million in 2007.

According to Frost & Sullivan analyst Aravind Venkatesh, IPTV is the next notable wave in the consumer telecom space and service providers are planning to leverage this new technology to increase their depleting revenues by offer high quality interactive services to customers.

"While revenues from fixed-line services continue to decline, IPTV is likely to reduce churn, increase ARPU (average revenue per user) levels, and generate additional revenue streams for service providers," said Venkatesh.

Presently available in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, India is expected to experience widespread IPTV services by 2007. Frost views India along with China and Australia to be high growth markets by 2009.

However, there are certain hurdles that service providers have to overcome first. One of the major challenges facing the service providers is procuring quality content, most of which is exclusively offered by cable and satellite operators.

Also, the lack of sufficient bandwidth and highly skewed broadband distribution are proving to be inhibitors for the growth of IPTV. While Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Japan are mature markets for broadband, developing markets like China, India and Malaysia have dismally low broadband penetration.

However, market watchers say that these issues are temporary and will be resolved as the market matures and IPTV services gain acceptance among the users.

Updated Date:

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