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IPTV operators growing at 10 new operators a quarter says report

There are some interesting statistics in the MRG (Multimedia Research Group) numbers out this week on IPTV, but the one that fascinated us was that th

By PETER WHITE

Published: 20 January, 2011

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There are some interesting statistics in the MRG (Multimedia Research Group) numbers out this week on IPTV, but the one that fascinated us was that there have been 22 new IPTV operators go live with services since the last quarter’s report.

That tells you that IPTV, far from being over as a land grab, continues to attract operators. MRG says that it now tracks 875 IPTV operators and this is going up at a rate of over 10 new operators a quarter, with about 50% of those in North America. It doesn’t say anything much about the size of the new operators, but we must presume that there are aggregators and tools in place, and the type of deals which allow even the very smallest operators to put a triple play together by adding IPTV to its mix, so the idea that triple play would winnow down the number of global operators now seems to be unfounded.

The core ingredients of the report are of course about numbers, with MRG saying they are at 44 million IPTV homes now and this will rise to 111.5 million by the end of 2014, giving a compound annual growth rate of 26%.

The most recent numbers we have seen were from Point Topic which don’t disagree too wildly with this, out a few weeks ago saying that IPTV subscribers stand at 41.9 million, up 7.3% in a single quarter and 36.7% in the last 12 months, so both forecasts are in the same ball park.

MRG says Europe will continue to be the regional leader in 2014, accounting for 42% of the global base, maintaining its lead mostly because of the sheer number of large tier-1 service providers, and because of continued strong IPTV growth.

“Faster growth is mostly driven by proliferation of triple-play, improved DSL and fiber broadband capacity, accelerated install time, continued improvement in QoS/QoE, and additional premium HD content,” said Jose Alvear, IPTV Analyst at MRG.

Worldwide IPTV service revenues are now $17.8 billion and will reach $47.9 billion at end of 2014, a CAGR of 28%. By 2014, Europe and North America are expected to generate a larger share of the global revenue, due to very low average revenues per user (ARPUs) in Asia. We have some issues with this as China is adding so many IPTV capable broadband lines that it has the potential to dwarf other economies, although revenues per home will obviously remain fairly low there for some time, collectively it may feature more towards the end of this forecast.

MRG also noted that there were 20 IPTV vendor acquisitions in 2010 – There were? We must have missed some of those. It reckons the total value of 10 of those transactions, the ones where a value was reported, was $1.95 billion. It expects more OTT service deals in 2011, who doesn’t, because vendors have released new cloud-based IP video solutions during 2010.

MRG says that each of the Number 1 ranked IPTV market leading vendors in six product categories remains unchanged, but there were changes in the pecking order in Asia.

In last year’s forecast MRG said that IPTV was in 26.9 million homes and would grow to 81 million in 2013 making it a $25.6 billion business, which is broadly in line with this year’s tally.

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