IPTV increases steadily on back of rapid broadband rollout

Joseph O'Halloran | 17-10-2012

Broadband subscriptions have soared to over 624 million, presenting a huge opportunity for the future of the connected home, in particular IPTV providers, according to survey data from the Broadband Forum.

Indeed with more than 15 million new IPTV subscribers added over the past year, the survey, prepared by broadband industry analysts Point Topic, suggest that it is clear that broadband multiplay is gaining momentum. It also alludes to huge growth potential for products based on the TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol and connected home services as broadband achieves mass market status in every region.

On a specific regional basis, North America and Europe head penetration rates with 79% and 77% broadband household penetration respectively. These were over 30 percentage points ahead of the next most broadband-enables regions of east Europe and Asia Pacific. LatAm crawled in with 35% and the South and East Asia, and Middle East and African markets accounted for 26% and 20% respectively. This all added up to a total of 621 million broadband subscribers homes out of 1.534 billion households served, a 40% overall penetration.

Given this basis, the survey data shows that as the adoption of TR-069 proliferates, the reality is that it has massive potential. IPTV services alone have brought 69 million new set top boxes into the connected home, and the CPE WAN Management Protocol, connected could provide a simple inclusive platform for managing all these devices. Globally 15.9 million subscribers were added over the last 12 months, and 3.57 million over last quarter.

The survey identified what it called ‘great’ pick up of IPTV service, with China, France and the United States leading the industry in adoption. At the end of the first quarter of 2012, China boasted 16.25 million IPTV subs, a 7% growth. Traditional IPTV power house France lagged behind on 12.79 million, up 3%, followed by the US with similar growth leading to a total of 9.66 million IPTV subs. Nearly 4 million subs behind was Korea but with much faster (8%) growth. The Broadband Forum added that over the second quarter of 2012, Russia made ‘amazing strides’ in rolling IPTV services out. In the first quarter Russia experienced 17% growth to land just under 2 million subs.

In terms of access methods for broadband, IPTV could benefit even more for the rapid advance of fibre across the world. Even though Copper-based (xDSL) broadband connections still dominated, their share fell below 60% for the first time ever with 6.1% growth. By contrast there was strong yearly growth for fibre with generic FTTx growing 27% and FTTH specifically up 23.4% to have absolute access shares of 14.8% and 2.8% respectively. Cable grew 8% to take a 19.3% access share.