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IPTV to flourish in China

Boosted by a flourishing broadband environment and major events such as the Beijing Olympics in 2008, IPTV take-up in mainland China is forecast to pass the 23 million subscriber mark by 2012.

New findings from ABI Research suggest that technological innovations are rapidly redrawing the Chinese telco landscape and operators are compelled to diversify in order to thrive in the competitive environment.

ABI broadband research analyst Serene Fong said “More operators than ever are offering multiple services in an attempt to retain customers and to increase revenue. Telecom operators are venturing into the TV industry, while cable operators move into the voice business.”

IPTV is the Chinese government’s platform of choice because it is aligned to its long term plan of unifying broadband, internet, and television. As a result, more resources will also be allocated to making IPTV a success because it is to play an important role in multimedia communications and upcoming major events in China.

“The growth of IPTV will remain modest for now, and take off only after 2008. Adoption will be boosted by major events such as the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and then the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai,” said Fong.

But Fong believes that certain bottlenecks are presently restricting growth. “While the IPTV service is regarded by the industry as a potential revenue generator, lack of content may prove a short-term barrier to increasing uptake rapidly,” said Fong.

“Current program content, which is strictly controlled by media authorities and the government, is not rich enough to attract paying users, and overseas content, which is restricted and difficult to get approval for, does not help alleviate the situation.”


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