Russia Leads Eastern Europe in Set Top Box Shipment Growth

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
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Preliminary results from IMS Research’s forthcoming 2010 study on The World Market for Set-top Boxes and iDTVs has revealed that nearly 26 percent of EMEA’s digital STB shipments were deployed into Eastern Europe in 2009. By 2012, IMS Research estimates that Eastern Europe will comprise nearly 33 percent of EMEA’s digital STB shipments.

According to Rebecca Kurlak, co-author of the study, the top five markets contributing the most to digital STB shipment growth are Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary. Russia alone comprises 58 percent of Eastern Europe’s shipments and 15 percent of EMEA’s 2009 STB shipments, while the remaining top four countries account for 7.25 percent of EMEA’s 2009 STB shipments and 28 percent of Eastern Europe’s STB shipments.

Kurlak states, “As of Q4 2009, a few Russian pay-TV operators had announced the availability of HD DVRs which is propelling the pay-TV market forward more than ever before. Satellite operator Orion Express and telco Vimpelcom are the first to offer HD DVR STBs and are expected to experience subscriber growth because they are making the first move towards advanced services. Orion is expected to experience a 10.5 percent growth and Vimpelcom a 39 percent growth by year end 2010.”

The Russian pay-TV market is expanding in larger cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersberg as subscribers gain interest in advanced services that are not currently available via FTA equipment such as HDTV, DVR, VOD services, and other content offerings at reasonable monthly package prices. Operators are attempting to capitalize on this emerging trend and grab attention however they can to sway subscribers to their respective services. In September 2009, satellite operator Tri-color announced that it would provide free broadband services through Eutelsat’s W7 satellite to subscribers in small towns that do not currently have the Internet. Not a bad strategy for an emerging pay-TV market. In addition, cable operator Mostelecom rolled out its’ hybrid cable/IP network in order to launch IP-based services such as VOD, VoIP and IPTV.

Kurlak concludes, “The Russian pay-TV market has just begun to reap the rewards of a true pay-TV market. Operators’ efforts of implementing network infrastructure upgrades and advanced services will quickly create a ROI that will continue to pay dividends for years to come.”

The study provides detailed analysis of STB shipments and revenues for 68 countries – the study is considered to be the most comprehensive report on the market. TV households are segmented by region, country, platform, operator, and digital penetration rate. STB shipments and revenues are broken down by SD/HD picture quality, 1-way/2-way data receiving, and by DVR functionality. The report will be published by the end of May 2010.