StarHub is doing things a little bit backwards in Malaysia, where it is marketing its StarHub TV on Fibre service to commercial customers such as restaurants, pubs, hotels and hospitals first with plans to eventually offer the service to residential customers.
According to a story in The Edge Malaysia, the carrier is using the country's Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network to deliver IPTV entertainment channels to customers it's forbidden to reach via its Singapore Cable Vision service.
When it purchased Singapore Cable Vision in 2002, StarHub signed an agreement with Singapore Telecommunications that it would not use leased cable infrastructure to service non-residential properties. This freed Singapore Cable Vision to sell entertainment services to residential customers, but required commercial customers to either buy a network rollout to their premises or subscribe to over-the-air DTTV service which offered only 33 channels compared to StarHub's 100. Using IPTV and the national network circumvents that provision and frees StarHub to begin offering entertainment television to those commercial customers.
At the same time it's expanding its market with IPTV and commercial customers, the service provider is preparing for the day when it transfers its StarHub TV service from cable infrastructure to fiber. While its cable infrastructure is only 20 years old and not in need of replacement, fiber is almost universally recognized as the future and IPTV is considered a superior TV delivery mechanism, so it is likely StarHub will eventually move the cable service onto the fiber IPTV network.
There is already competition in the IPTV space and, like the United States, it's coming from a telco that brought in the service to compete with a cable provider. In this case, SingTel developed mio TV to compete with StarHub's cable offer, and now both providers struggle to obtain exclusive content while working for technological leadership with such applications as TV Everywhere.
- The Edge Malaysia has this story
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