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Monday, October 31, 2005

Fragmentation slows IPTV adoption

Fragmentation slows IPTV adoption

"Will Internet Protocol TV follow the path of other interactive-TV platforms, blazing onto the scene only to fizzle into a minor market that leaves pundits grasping for explanations?

IPTV is the real deal, sources said, noting that operators in Europe and Asia have already pulled off successful deployments. Many of those pioneers are telcos that earlier deployed broadband over digital subscriber lines for Internet data service and are now expanding into IP voice and video for "triple play" service.

Semiconductor suppliers, system vendors and software companies, meanwhile, have piled onto the bandwagon.

A closer look at the market, however, reveals that IPTV design requirements today are fragmented and that technology suppliers are still struggling to find sizable commercial deployments to which they can sell their products in volume. Asked what's high on his IPTV wish list, Alan Delaney, product manager for IPTV at set-top developer Pace Micro Technology (West Yorkshire, U.K.), bluntly responded, "Purchase orders."

The landscape
Those already up and running with first-generation IPTV services include Fastweb in Italy, HomeChoice in the U.K., MaLigne and Free in France, Telefonica in Spain, Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan, PCCW Ltd. in Hong Kong and Softbank/Yahoo BB in Japan. Digital Tech Consulting (DTC), a Dallas-based market research firm, estimates that subscribers to DSL-based IPTV service will total 3 million worldwide by year's end.

"The growth will accelerate dramatically during the next five years, both in terms of the size and quality of deployments, surpassing 20 million by year-end 2010," said DTC senior analyst Antonette Goroch." [more]

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