Malaysian broadband provider Vasseti eyes IPTV launch

Asia is the world's IPTV hotbed, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that Malaysian high-speed broadband service provider Vasseti Datatech Bhd (VDT) hopes to launch IPTV service by the third quarter of this year.

A senior company executive who told The Malaysian Reserve that the company "plans to provide a few hundred television channels to take advantage of its fiber optic network across the country (and is) in talks with a few content providers oversea to acquire the content."

VDT is reportedly beta testing its IPTV content and sourcing television content and would start a service by offering movies, dramas, serials, musicals and other genres for "retail consumers," the source said. If all goes well, it would like to have 20,000 or more retail customers online using both broadband and IPTV services.

Since it is estimated that about 99 percent of Peninsular Malaysian households have televisions, there's certainly an available audience. VDT itself claims to have 100 buildings passed (a more substantial milestone marker than homes) in the Klang Valley, 30 percent of which are residential.

If the launch happens, VDT will be playing in a crowded market with incumbents Astro All Asian, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Maxis Bhd and REDtone International Bhd. Astro Al Asian Network reportedly commands the top position for local pay-TV with about 3 million subscribers, followed by TM (365,000) and REDtone (5,000). Maxis, like VDT, is in a pre-launch mode.

Still, if the totals of a 19 million television household universe in the Peninsula alone are accurate, there's still a lot of room to get in and acquire subs.

"We believe that the local IPTV market is big enough to sustain multiple players. There is so much potential in triple play in this country," VDT's senior executive told the newspaper.

Besides wiring customers, VDT is also said to be eyeing a "hotspot" strategy for its IPTV and other broadband services, although those details are bit hazier.

"We want to create a hotspot in every single major metropolitan area … for free to all our customers," the source said, declining to disclose when this might happen. "Nevertheless, we are confident this can be done soon."

For more:
 - see The Malaysian Reserve story

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