IPTV to reach 25m in 2008—MRG

Internet protocol television (IPTV) will reach 25.3m global subscribers in 2008, according to a new report by California-based Multimedia Research Group (MRG). That's up from an estimated 1.9m subscribers in 2004. Subscriber revenues will rise from $635m in 2004 to $7.2bn in 2008.

MRG said the rise of IPTV was being driven in the US by telcos such as SBC, BellSouth and Verizon; in China by China Telecom; and other players such as Free in France, PCCW in Hong Kong, and FastWeb in Italy.

Meanwhile, a BBC News Online report on the rise of IPTV, quoted Microsoft IPTV marketing chief Ed Graczyk as saying: "Telcos have been wanting to do video for a long time. The challenge has been the broadband network and the state of technology up until not so long ago did not add up to a feasible solution.

"Compression technology was not efficient enough, the net was not good enough. [But] a lot of stars have aligned in the last 18 months to make it a reality."

Last month, Microsoft announced a major alliance with French broadband equipment maker Alcatel to develop IPTV systems aimed at telecommunications groups.

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