The share of STBs shipped to emerging digital TV markets such as China, India, Russia and Latin America is forecast to account for more than 45 per cent of global STB shipments between 2011 and 2015, according to IMS Research. Shipments of STBs in Russia, India, China, and Latin America jumped more than 65 per cent between 2009 and 2010 as demand for satellite and digital cable services surged.
This is in contrast to the overall global market, which IMS Research believes saw an 11 per cent shipment increase between 2009 and 2010, to just over 220 million STBs. Equipment demand in many more sophisticated digital TV markets is slowing down as saturation is reached, analogue terrestrial switch-offs are completed, and penetration of advanced HD and DVR STBs increases. IMS Research forecasts that STB shipments to many advanced markets will drop between five and 10 per cent between 2011 and 2015.
“The share of total STB shipments going to emerging markets is unprecedented,” observes Anna Maxbauer, senior analyst and co-author of The World Market for Digital Set-top Boxes and iDTVs – 2011 Edition. “China’s state-sponsored cable and satellite projects accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the world’s cable set-top box shipments and 20 per cent of the world’s satellite set-top box shipments in 2010. Almost 14 per cent of all satellite STBs shipped in 2010 went to Indian pay-DTH operators.”
Cable and terrestrial digitisation projects in a large number of emerging markets are expected to drive exceptional STB shipment volumes through 2015. Digitisation of the Chinese and Indian cable platforms, China’s free-to-air satellite expansion, and pay-satellite growth in India and Latin America is forecast to require close to 500 million STBs in the next five years alone.
“Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, Mexican, and other Latin American markets offer high-volume opportunities but are less lucrative than their more advanced counterparts,” Maxbauer adds. “However, demand for advanced reception equipment will increase significantly over the next five years in emerging markets, and higher revenues will follow.”