China�s IPTV industry falls short

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China�s IPTV market in 2007 will have fallen short of expectations, both in terms of subscriber growth and equipment shipments, according to iSuppli Corp. (www.isuppli.com).

Subscribers on the mainland are expected to have totaled only 846,000 by the end of 2007, compared to expectations of 1.3 million.

Four operators now have IPTV licenses in China: Shanghai Media Group (SMG), China Central Television International (CCTV), Nanfang Broadcast Media (NBM), and China Radio International (CRI). As the first IPTV licensee, SMG partnered with China Telecom (CTC) and China Netcom (CNC) to introduce IPTV services in Shanghai and Harbin, respectively, in 2006. The final outcome of these deployments has been regarded as a key barometer of the industry�s prospects, according to the analyst firm.Th 274318

The other three IPTV licensees pursued a wait-and-see strategy. CCTV has announced plans for IPTV field tests in Baotou in Inner Mongolia, and Changchun and Nanjing in the Jilin and Jiangsu Provinces, respectively.

Loren Zhao, industry analyst, China Research, for iSuppli, says, �In China, IPTV services are jointly operated by telecom carriers and IPTV broadcasters,� which share technology and content.

iSuppli says the relationship between the telecom carriers and the broadcast operators remains unclear. Cooperation to reach a win-win situation will be the major factor in IPTV�s future, the firm says. IPTV could still have a promising future with estimated subscribers exceeding 17 million by 2011.

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