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IPTV subscribers worldwide to reach 155 million by 2013, says report

The number of IPTV subscribers worldwide exceeded 26 million in 2008 and is expected to surge to nearly 155 million by 2013, according to the latest quarterly survey of the market from Infonetics Research.

Despite the rosy forecast, IPTV service providers and cable operators worldwide pulled back their spending on technology, which drove down spending on overall IPTV and switched digital video equipment by 11 percent in the first quarter, the report says. However, spending growth is expected to return over the next four quarters.

According to the research firm’s “IPTV and Switched Digital Video Equipment, Services and Subscribers” report, the recession and a slowdown in AT&T U-Verse IPTV rollouts were responsible for the dip, which pushed worldwide sales of IPTV and switched digital video equipment in the first quarter down to $1 billion. The only region of the world to see growth in IPTV and switched digital video equipment revenue during the quarter was Central and South America.

By 2013, Infonetics Research projects IPTV service operators’ worldwide revenue to climb to about $56 billion. Vendors, too, are expected to benefit from the growth. IPTV set-top box revenue will grow at an annual average rate of 14 percent between 2008 and 2013, the research firm forecasts.

The report also gives vendors offering video-on-demand and streaming content servers a reason to smile with an expected tripling of such servers between 2008 and 2012. “VOD is rapidly becoming EOD (everything on-demand) as operators beef up their streaming server capacity to support not only HD VOD, but network and RS-DVR services, targeted advertising and start-over services, all of which will become standard features for video providers,” said Jeff Heyne, directing analyst for broadband and video at Infonetics Research.

IBC2009 will explore the latest developments in IPTV Sept. 11. Dietrich Westerkamp, director of standards coordination at Thomson, will lead a session with presentations on several application areas and new developments in delivering television via IP.