Mena IPTV subscribers to grow 10-fold
Dubai, August 22, 2012
IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) subscriber numbers in the Mena region is predicted to undergo a ten-fold increase, reaching 1.6 million by 2014, said the organisers ahead of a major summit on multiplatform services in Dubai.
TV Connect Middle East and North Africa, which will explore the growth opportunity within TV delivery, will take place at UAE Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa on October 30 and 31.
Currently the number of IPTV homes in Mena is on the rise, and in terms of Pay TV markets as a whole, the region total is predicted to increase to 11 million Pay TV homes by 2014, giving a staggering 15 per cent penetration rate, according to Informa Telecoms & Media research.
Telecoms operators in the Mena region have begun to realise the huge potential and many have concluded that the best strategy for the future is to combine the security of managed IPTV, with the flexibility and adaptability of OTT (over-the-top) delivery.
For example, Dubai’s incumbent operator and the official event partner, Etisalat already offers an IPTV offering (for high-end fibre customers) and an OTT offering (for lower ARPU users).
Etisalat is hosting its Digital Entertainment Network Zone at the conference and exhibition, where the company will be showcasing its TV activities in the region, as well as leading a pre-event OTT focus session on October 29.
Nick Thomas, principle analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, says: “The country is relatively small geographically, with a new infrastructure. The population is young (the majority under 35), tech-savvy and has high levels of disposable income. If premium IP-based paid-content services are to work anywhere, it is here.”
“Furthermore, an advantage that potential IPTV operators in the Middle East and North Africa have over their Western counterparts is the opportunity to build the most-up-to-date and effective networks.”
As the TV industry converges and brings closer IPTV and OTTtv providers, CE manufactures and Linear TV distributers, TV Connect Middle East and North Africa will place a spotlight on all the issues in the managed IPTV ecosystem and the OTTtv space.
It will also focus on the importance of content packages, localising content across countries, licensing issues and how the industry can work together to bring a connected and interactive TV experience for the future.
Hisham Arafat, general manager at INC Emirates Technology, said: “TV Connect MENA is an excellent opportunity to introduce the newest technologies in IPTV and OTT to regional telecomm operators.
“It’s a very good networking event with specialised professionals in the region exploring new ways for increasing IPTV/OTT revenues for the operators.” – TradeArabia News Service