For some time, telcos with broadband infrastructure have wrestled with the challenge of launching, delivering and marketing an IPTV offer. Not only do most players face competition from classical terrestrial providers, but widespread adoption of satellite and strong penetration of cable platforms in many markets mean that success can be hard to achieve.
This problem is compounded by the fact that IPTV is a demanding service for broadband infrastructure. Of course, it can be delivered successfully, but it needs the right next-generation access infrastructure, as a recent note from Arthur D Little points out. To complicate matters further, the rise in HD TV places even more demands on the network.
Consequently, Arthur D Little expects that IPTV may grow only modestly in some markets, being largely restricted to urban areas. And that’s a problem, for classical telcos are eager to develop quad-play offers and to deliver broadcast content and associated services in order to compete with cable or satellite rivals who are able to do so more cheaply and more effectively.
But telcos can take steps to optimise delivery over the network infrastructure available to them if they pay attention to the STB or the router. If they can optimise delivery of IPTV services such that they have priority over other solutions that consume the same bandwidth in the home, dynamically and in real-time, they may be able to ensure a better service, access more potential subscribers and get closer to securing a realistic market foothold.
To do this fully requires the ability to monitor and control traffic at the boundary of the customer premises – merely doing this inside the network, as current DPI-based approaches do, fails to differentiate the core service to the STB from consumption of similar traffic on other platforms. Once Telcos can ensure a service as reliable as those from cable or satellite providers, they can exploit the potential for personalisation that is uniquely theirs, and finally make inroads into this lucrative market.