IPTV ‘still in budding stage in Arab World’
Amman, June 9, 2009
Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) is in its initial stage of penetration in the Arab World, and is still developing, according to a study conducted by Arab Advisors Group, a research, analysis and consulting company.
As broadband adoption increases in the region, several operators in the Arab World have plans to implement IPTV (also called TV over IP) in the near future, the study said.
IPTV delivers scheduled TV programs and video-on-demand (VoD) via the IP protocol and digital streaming techniques used to watch video on the Internet.
Seven service providers in six countries - Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar and UAE - offer commercial IPTV services in the Mena region, the report stated.
This is up from four service providers in three countries back in August 2007, Faten Bader, Arab Advisors senior research analyst noted in the report entitled, “An Overview of IPTV in the Arab World.”
The report includes details of IPTV services that the above mentioned operators offer besides the fiber optics projects of the other operators in the region that are preparing to launch the service in the future.
Reportedly, there are ongoing or planned projects by the service providers and/or governments in countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, for offering local IPTV services in the future, Bader said in the report.
Senior industry executives debated the IPTV issue at the recent Arab Advisors' 6th annual media and telecoms convergence conference held in Amman, which was attended by 533 delegates from over 180 companies spanning 25 countries.
The experts pointed out that a massive supply of free to air (FTA) channels and the widespread piracy of DVDs and Pay TV were the major obstacles facing IPTV providers.
They also noted that ongoing fiber to the home (FTTH) projects in some countries should enhance the fortunes of future IPTV uptake as media broadcasters leverage its interactivity.
According to Bader, the IP-based platform offers significant advantages such as VoD, the advantage of triple play and the automatic archiving of the Video broadcast in Real Media format.
This makes TV viewing experience more interactive and personalized, she pointed out.
“Besides, it offers an opportunity for integration and convergence, and allows the operator to report statistics of programs/channels/adverts watched.” she added.-TradeArabia News Service