IPTV beams signal to 8 million

IPTV viewers rose 179% to more than 8 million worldwide in the 12 months to June 30, according to the DSL Forum.

Asia-Pacific accounts for more than a quarter of the total, with 2.17 million users, adding nearly 1.1 million viewers in the period.

France is the world's biggest IPTV market, with 2.55 million customers, followed by Hong Kong with 938,000, a survey by Point Topic for the DSL Forum shows.

The study also found DSL retains a large lead as the most popular access technology, accounting for more than 200 million of the world's 313 million broadband subs. The global market share of broadband technologies remains largely unchanged from December 2006, with almost 22% of subscribers using cable, and just over 10% using FTTx.

A separate study by research firm Analysys found that triple-play bundles of TV, voice and broadband access can increase market share and boost ARPU.

Triple-play packages have enabled US cable operators to double ARPU and halve churn, Analysys said, while French operators found a receptive market with low-price triple-play packages.

However, author Margaret Hopkins said quad-play packages had not worked because they 'suffer from the mismatch between the elements' target markets'. TV is aimed at families and mobile services at individuals, and as a result quad-play services as a defense against TV-based triple-play bundles have been 'without noticeable success', she said.