IPTV Rollouts in Asia/Pacific are not for Faint of Heart

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Despite the massive investments necessary in Asia/Pacific’s IPTV market, both in technology and content procurement, telecom operators must invest to gain subscriber market share according to a new report from Pyramid Research, the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network.

IPTV in Asia/Pacific: Profit Picture Fuzzy, but Momentum Building analyzes the challenges facing IPTV providers and looks at the key drivers behind service rollouts in Asia/Pacific. The 13-page report includes two case studies focusing on Hong Kong and South Korea, providing insights into the different strategies used by operators in each market to gain a foothold in the highly competitive broadcasting space.

Media Forecasts are also available for 14 markets in Asia/Pacific and provide competitive intelligence on the pay-TV and mobile TV dynamics, market share information at both the technology and operator levels, and five-year adoption and revenue projections.

Although Asia/Pacific has the distinction of having the most successful IPTV operators globally, and rollouts continue throughout the region, operators continue to face challenges in three key areas: regulatory constraints, content, and technology costs, notes Charles Moon, analysts at Pyramid Research and author of the report. “Typically, regulatory issues come first, then the mammoth challenge of valuing and procuring content along with technology issues – both of which can affect subscriber take-up and bottom lines,” says Moon.

“One of the most glaring problems surrounding IPTV has been the lack of any framework around the service, putting it in a gray area, with neither the telecom nor broadcasting regulators having clear oversight of the sector,” says Moon. Also, the initial investments required in order to acquire content can be prohibitive for smaller players. “To make matters worse, the entrenched position of cable companies in markets like Japan and South Korea make it even more difficult for new IPTV players to negotiate for content rights,” he explains. “In addition to the lack of adequate infrastructure and the high cost of STBs hindering adoption, the fight to defend market share is intensifying.”

Asia/Pacific provides good lessons for operators faced with developing a business case for IPTV services and determining an appropriate strategy for long-term success. “We believe the long-term opportunities that IPTV brings outweigh the short-term risks,” Moons says. “The promise of media, and the escape it provides from dumb-pipe business models, is encouraging carriers to take risks and make grabs for market share,” he adds. “Further, the benefits associated from capturing customers – such as lower churn, new service provisioning, and higher cash flows – provide a case for short-term sacrifices.”

IPTV in Asia/Pacific: Profit Picture Fuzzy, but Momentum Building is part of Pyramid Research’s Asia/Pacific Telecom Insider report series. Telecom Insiders are packed with trend analysis, industry best practices, market sizing and forecasting, competitor analysis, and case studies, providing you information you can leverage to make better business decisions.