The number of people using IPTV services increased by 179 per cent in the 12 months to June 30th 2007. Over 8 million people are now connected to telco TV services, according to research from broadband analyst company Point Topic. And for some operators, that means that a significant proportion of their broadband customer base also subscribers to television services.
Growth was strongest in Europe, with almost 5 million IPTV subscribers by the middle of 2007. Around half of these were in France, where there has been a strong performance from the incumbent, France Telecom, in response to the early deployments of rival operators Free and Neuf. All the major European incumbents now have IPTV products up and running. Telefonica in Spain added nearly 200,000 TV subscribers during the same period, and Belgacom signed up 120,000 in Belgium. Deutsche Telekom and BT have been slower to add subscribers to their telco TV services, with around 35,000 and 20,000 customers respectively.
The Asia Pacific region also has some IPTV leaders. PCCW in Hong Kong has over 800,000 IPTV subscribers. Chunghwa in Taiwan added 200,000 IPTV accounts in the year to June 30th 2007. And the Chinese market is starting to move from large-scale trials to full deployment.
In the Americas, IPTV is best seen as a response to triple-play competition from the cable networks. Verizon has had a successful 12 months signing up new customers to its TV over fibre service. AT&T (including SBC) has now started to connect TV customers, after some delays.