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China convergence policy ups IPTV subscribers to 8.5M

Posted: 05 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:China IPTV market? IPTV? telecommunications? network?

China IPTV subscribers are forecast to double this year, following government's push to accelerate convergence among the country's various telecommunications, broadcast and Internet operators.

Subscribers in China to IPTV delivered via the Internet and broadband networks will jump to 8.5 million in 2010, rising by a hefty 96 percent from 4.4 million in 2009, according to iSuppli Corp. And while growth rates during the next three years will not equal the 2010 peak, IPTV development will continue to acquire impressive momentum, reaching expansion rates as high as 51 percent, iSuppli estimates. By 2014, IPTV subscribers in China will exceed 31 million.

"The rise in IPTV subscribers in 2010 and beyond will be driven primarily by deployments among China's broadcasters, which hold the prized IPTV licenses," said Loren Zhao, an analyst for iSuppli's China Research. "Despite a policy by the State Council of China in January 2010 encouraging the country's telecom carriers, broadcast operators and Internet firms to enter one another's fields and provide services, the three-way convergence policy is skewed against telecom carriers. Unlike the broadcast operators, which are allowed a wider leeway in the range of services they offer, telecom carriers face strong regulation, can participate only in radio and TV transmission and are proscribed from taking part in the content integration and broadcast sectors."

IPTV reach
IPTV services currently extend to more than 20 provinces and cities in China, but IPTV subscribers are concentrated in only a few areas. Out of the country's 22 provinces, no more than eight count greater than 100,000 IPTV subscribers. Furthermore, fully 56 percent of total IPTV subscribers are to be found in just three locations: China's largest city of Shanghai, as well as the two densely populated provinces of Jiangsu in the east and Guangdong in the south.

In spite of the uneven distribution of IPTV subscribers, the players in the China IPTV market are raising their 2010 targets and hope to spread their services to more provinces in 2010, iSuppli believes.

Several drivers will push IPTV growth from now to 2014, including Beijing's continuing advancement of its triple-play convergence policy, the ongoing competition between telecom carriers and broadcast operators to carve out their own territories and the strategy among the players to bundle wireline and wireless broadband with IPTV services.

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