The number of worldwide subscribers to IP television services is set to rise to 68.9 million by 2009, generating hardware sales worth £3.67bn, according to Infonetics Research.
IPTV involves the delivery of digital television services over an IP network. Although several marketing, content and technical challenges have to be overcome to reach these figures, the number of worldwide IPTV subscribers is expected to more than double every year from 2005 to 2009, said Infonetics.
Infonetics analyst Jeff Heynen said, “IPTV is still in the 'kick the tire' phase, with service providers doing trials rather than mass deployments, but there is no question that IPTV is going mainstream.”
The IPTV hardware revenue market was worth a modest £200m last year, with a large chunk of the kit going to the Asia-Pacific region, where much of the network infrastructure to support IPTV already exists.
In Europe, Germany is well ahead of the UK when it comes to delivering IPTV content to users. In the UK, technology partners such as BT and Microsoft are still putting the final touches to their IPTV projects.
Heynen said, “The technical hurdles are well known, such as adequate broadband speeds being available to users, but the regulatory issues are less predictable.”