Global IPTV subscriptions grew at their highest rate to-date during 3Q, but still lag behind cable pay-TV services in terms of revenues, according to TeleGeography.
The research firm’s figures reveal that IPTV subscribers hit 40 million during the quarter, up 37% year-on-year and 8% sequentially, but still account for less than 6% of the global pay-TV subscriber base, and generate lower ARPU.
Spokesman John Dinsdale said IPTV growth has made life difficult for cable operators in terms of pay-TV income, but that cable firms are bridging the gap by picking up broadband internet and telephone users.
“While it could be said that telcos have deprived cablecos of 40 million pay-TV subscribers, at the same time they have lost four times the number of internet and telephony subscribers to their cableco competitors,” Dinsdale states.
France leads the way in IPTV subscribers, with almost a quarter of the global total, with China and the US joint second with 16% apiece.
However, China is closing the gap, recording by far the quickest growth rate of any top ten country, the research firm said.
China Telecom has the highest number of IPTV subscribers, with nearly a third more than second-placed Iliad from France. Verizon is next in-line, followed by France Telecom, AT&T, SFR, Korea Telecom and NTT DoCoMo.
Around 160 operators provide IPTV services across 74 countries, with launches imminent from 15 more providers in 4 more nations, the research firm revealed.