There are numerous technological issues yet to be worked out before IPTV becomes fully viable, and even when those are solved, the lack of a regulatory framework for IPTV may hinder the development of the market. That makes it hard to predict when and how the IPTV market will develop, but Infonetics Research took a stab at it anyway, predicting the number of worldwide IPTV subscribers will more than double just about every year from 2005 to 2009, when it will reach 68.9 million subscribers.
Infonetics forecasts IPTV service revenue and service provider capex to increase dramatically as well, and sales of IPTV equipment to skyrocket from $371 million in 2005 to $6.8 billion in 2009.
At the moment, however, IPTV is still in the kick-the-tires phase, according to Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for Broadband and IPTV at Infonetics Research. He said the technical hurdles are well known, but the regulatory issues are less predictable.
“Legislators are asking, ‘How do we treat and regulate IPTV?’ While content owners are asking, ‘How do we best take advantage of these new markets?’ It’s complex, and depending on how the regulatory and content licensing discussions go, the timeline for IPTV taking off could either slow down or speed up,” he said.
Highlights from the report selected by Infonetics include:
* Service providers are expected to generate significant IPTV service revenue between 2005 and 2009, with worldwide revenue increasing at a 169 percent five-year compound annual growth rate.
* The bulk of IPTV service revenue is being generated by providers in Europe.
* Service providers are dedicating rapidly increasing amounts of their capital expenditure dollars to IPTV infrastructure, including both content and transport equipment, with worldwide IPTV capex growing at a 41 percent CAGR between 2005 and 2009.
* The number of IPTV subscribers in Asia Pacific more than tripled between 2004 and 2005, where faster forms of DSL like VDSL2 and ADSL2/2+ are stimulating subscriber growth.
* The number of IP set-top boxes (STBs) sold worldwide will nearly triple between 2006 and 2007, led by China-based Yuxing InfoTech and U.K.-based Amino Communications, who are currently the worldwide leaders in IP STB unit shipment market share.