Irdeto captures 1m TFN homes

Irdeto is to supply its conditional access technology to Taiwanese cable operator Taiwan Fixed Network Media, a subsidiary of Taiwan Mobile.

TFN Media is one of Taiwan's largest MSOs, servicing Taipei and the surrounding region. Irdeto's deployment is part of TFN Media's aggressive strategy to grow its market share and to double its subscriber base to one million by the end of next year.

This new client win further consolidates Irdeto's position as having "the largest market share of new pay-TV subscribers in Southeast Asia," according to findings from Media Partners Asia (MPA), which gives Irdeto a 65% market share. An estimated two million new subscribers were added to the region's fast-growing digital TV sector with more than 65 percent protected by Irdeto technology.

According to MPA, the pay-TV sector is expected to grow rapidly as the wave of digital TV continues to surge unabated throughout the region. Emerging countries such as Indonesia and Thailand are expected to see strong growth momentum in this sector over the next 10 years. The digital pay-TV penetration rate in Indonesia should grow from 1.8% to 16.3% by 2017 while the penetration rate in Thailand is expected to grow from 3.5% to 8.7%.

TFN Media expects to deploy Irdeto's to be fully launched by Q2/2009 and provide customers with some new interactive TV offerings including Sports Lottery - where users can gamble on sports events through their set-top boxes, as well as supplying other IPTV applications and an electronic programme guide.

As part of the agreement, Irdeto will supply 1m smart cards to TFN Media which feature Irdeto's FlexiFlash technology which the company says allows for rapid, secure deployment of new features and functionalities and even security upgrades to be downloaded over the air to smart cards already in the field.

"Since this is our first foray into digital TV, we want a strong and experienced partner with proven technology to lay a solid foundation for TFN Media. After an intensive evaluation of the technologies available, we found the perfect, end-to-end solution in Irdeto's offerings," said Dr. James Jeng, President of TFN Media. "We believe this strategic partnership with Irdeto will provide us with a good head start in the digital migration process."

"TFN Media is emerging as one of the dynamic operators keen to embrace Taiwan's move into the digital era and Irdeto is fully on board to provide our next-generation conditional access solution and support services to help TFN Media reap the potential of interactive TV," said Graham Kill, CEO Irdeto.

Taiwan is home to about 58 cable service operators with a combined total of nearly 4.8m homes, which represents a penetration rate of 84% according to Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC). The Taiwanese NCC authority has recently announced plans for a digital migration of the cable TV system by 2013. The digitalization of the broadcast industry is expected to bring about various business opportunities worth an estimated US$11.8 bn.