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40 million to subscribe to IPTV worldwide by 2010, says Canalys

New forecasts from Canalys indicate the IPTV market will see rapid growth over the next three years, driven by the desire of telecom operators to boost average revenue per user (ARPU) and counter the growing threat from competing triple-play providers.

Worldwide IPTV subscriber levels will increase more than tenfold by the end of the decade, growing from fewer than 4 million in 2006 to nearly 40 million in 2010.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) accounted for two-thirds of global IPTV subscribers at the end of 2006, and will remain the largest market through to 2010, when the region will account for 38 percent of the worldwide total, according to Canalys.

In many markets, a high degree of competition from existing services will make it difficult for IPTV providers to compete unless they can differentiate their services, either by providing better quality of service or by maintaining lower subscription fees, according to the company’s analysis.

With Verizon growing rapidly and AT&T moving beyond the infrastructure development phase, Canalys expects to see strong IPTV subscriber growth in North America. Being home to just 9 percent of the worldwide subscriber base at the end of 2006, the region will rise to represent 31 percent of all subscribers by 2010, the company forecasts.

Canalys forecasts there will be more than 11 million subscribers across the Asia Pacific region by the end of the decade, although this figure could easily be surpassed should regulatory obstacles be overcome.

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