4.5 million Europeans to use IPTV service by year’s end, says InfoCom

At the end of 2006, Europe had the largest IPTV market share, and the four largest continental countries — France, Germany, Italy and Spain — had some 1.65 million IPTV users, twice the 2005 total, according to market researcher InfoCom Telecommunications Consultancy.

However, that still accounts for fewer than 2 percent of all TV viewers in those countries. Even with a limited subscriber base, IPTV is the fastest-growing TV platform among the existing legacy platforms, such as CATV and satellite, according to InfoCom.

Terrestrial television is increasing, driven by digital services (DTT), which are gaining momentum all over Europe. Whereas, the already established traditional TV platforms are suffering at the hands of new competitors. Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK account for 550,000 IPTV users as of the end of 2006, which brings the total number of IPTV subscribers in Europe to about 2.2 million. By the end of 2007, InfoCom forecasts that the number of IPTV users will reach 4.5 million.

France is the largest European IPTV market, accounting for more than 60 percent of the subscriber base among the four countries. At the end of 2006, there were 1 million IPTV subscribers in France, and that number could hit 1.6 million at the end of this year, the research firm said. In Spain, the number of IPTV subscribers at the end of last year was 450,000, the company said.