Saturday, July 01, 2006

A special article from EE Times Asia

Two recent studies, by Parks Associates and Pyramid Research, both cited the wild-card status of China as a feasible market for IPTV because of overhanging issues like quality access networks, regulatory hurdles, content restrictions and the government's apparent focus on implementing digital cable services. Parks also cited a lower willingness among consumers across Asia to pay for some of the premium and related services that IPTV can enable, such as video-on-demand, interactive gaming or online commerce.

That reluctance will "counterbalance" the head start that Asia has established in IPTV, and help some of the slower-moving markets in Europe and the United States to catch up and potentially leapfrog the current leaders, said John Barrett, head of research at Parks.

"A higher willingness to spend in these countries gives service providers more freedom to experiment with features until they discover the ones that resonate with the market," Barrett said. "More-robust deployments in the West may therefore ultimately prove more profitable than the proliferation of basic IPTV service in Asia."

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