Gartner sees slow IPTV uptake in Western Europe

Gartner forecasts that IPTV in Western Europe will experience a strong subscriber growth, reaching 16.7 million in 2010 from 3.3 million this year. However, telcos will struggle to make IPTV a mainstream revenue opportunity over the next five years in the face of competition from pay TV services and free-to-air channels. Carriers in this region will resort to low-priced services and bundles to drive initial subscriber uptake. As a result their IPTV revenue will grow from €336 million in 2006 to only €3 billion by 2010.

Carrier strategies and subscriber levels will vary significantly between countries. An aggressive (low-entry price) push from competitive players such as Free, Neuf, France Telecom and the willingness of major pay TV services to support new distribution channels has made the French adopt IPTV in a big way. The U.K. will remain a weaker IPTV market due to the existing pay TV landscape and dominance of Sky TV. The price-sensitive German market is a challenge for pay TV due to the proliferation of fairly high quality free-to air-channels. It took 15 years to reach the current 10 percent penetration for pay TV, achieved only due to the football craze in the country. It looks like telcos need to add interesting interactive services to compete in this free-for-all.

For more on Gartner's IPTV predictions:
- check out this press release

PLUS: IDC expects IPTV subscriber volume in the Asia-Pac region, excluding Japan, to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 89 percent from 1.2 million in 2005 to a monumental 29.7 million in 2010. Release

ALSO: Cisco CEO John Chambers says analysts projections may be conservative when they estimate the market will grow to at least $4.5 billion a year by 2010, from a "couple hundred million" now. Article

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