MDA launches new licence framework for Singapore IPTV

Monday, January 15th, 2007 
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SingNet issued licence to roll out commercial IPTV services

Singapore — A new two-tier licence framework for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) rolled out by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) today aims to further facilitate the growth of IPTV services in Singapore, leading to tangible benefits for the industry and consumers.

Consumers can look forward to more and newer forms of diverse programming content as more players enter the market to provide IPTV services to meet the different needs of both mass and niche audiences.

Industry players will also benefit from the greater flexibility offered under the new licence framework as it promotes a more conducive and business friendly environment. They can leverage on new technological trends and business models as they roll out IPTV services for different market segments.

Two-tier licence framework

“We took into consideration the developments in technology in a rapidly evolving media landscape and local industry feedback when factoring flexibility in this licence framework to address the needs of niche IPTV players vis-à-vis mass market IPTV players while ensuring that consumer interests are not compromised,” explained Ms Ling Pek Ling, Director, Media Policy, MDA.

“This will enable the entry of more industry players looking to provide a wide range of IPTV services to consumers including those who are currently not served or not well served by existing broadcasters. At the same time, consumers can look forward to richer and diversified content,” she added.

The tiered IPTV licence framework offers service providers two types of licences :

  • Nationwide Subscription TV Licence: Players providing services that have wide reach (over 100,000 subscribers) and impact. They will be awarded a Nationwide Licence, similar to that for a mass market pay TV operator.
  • Niche Subscription TV Licence: This facilitates the entry of new niche players offering IPTV services which have limited reach (100,000 subscribers or less) and impact. The licensee would be subject to a lighter licence framework. For example, niche licensees will not be required to carry the local free-to-air channels.

Where the subscriber base exceeds 100,000 subscribers, the following secondary criteria will be used to determine if the operator can still qualify as a Niche player to allow those targeting niche market segments like the expatriate community and hotels to grow their business and improve their business case:

  • Location: whether the service is offered chiefly to specific non-residential locations in Singapore
  • Language: whether there is a high percentage of foreign language content
  • Reach and impact of the channels

Key licence conditions for Nationwide and Niche Subscription TV Licence can be found in Annex A.

SingNet issued a nationwide IPTV licence

In line with the new licence framework, MDA has issued SingNet Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, a Nationwide Subscription TV Service licence to roll out commercial IPTV services.

More: Annex A; Licence Framework for Broadcasting IPTV Services