South Korean carriers expect to surpass 6 million IPTV subscribers this week

South Korea could top 6 million IPTV subscribers by the end of this week, industry officials in that field said Monday.

According to statistics compiled by three IPTV operators--KT, SK Broadband and LG U+--and trade group Korea Digital Media Industry, there were already 5.9 million subscribers in the country as of Oct. 28. Following a trend of 30,000 to 40,000 subscriber additions per week, the statistics indicate the tide will rise above 6 million by the end of this week.

"IPTV operators are more desperate than before in their efforts to attract subscribers, each releasing new packages," an industry official said in a story issued by Yonhap News. "We see the growth will be maintained with no difficulty until the number of subscribers reaches 8 million."

It certainly appears that nothing is getting in the way of the IPTV trend. The business only began in 2008 and already listed 5 million paid subscribers seven months ago. It took seven years for cable TV to surpass 6 million subscribers when it became available in 1995.

Part of the reason for the surge of IPTV subscribers is the impeding analog-to-digital switchover, which will happen by the end of this year. Given the choice of IPTV or cable, industry officials said, subscribers appear to be leaning in favor of IPTV.

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