The number of IPTV subscribers in China surged 20.3 percent in the second
quarter of 2007, reaching 736,000 and apparently on track to top a million by
the end of the year.
The latest numbers, as estimated by Analysys International in the latest release
of its "China IPTV Market Quarterly Tracker," apparently dont include Hong
Kong, where PCCW is said to have more than 700,000 IPTV subscribers just by
itself, topping even France Telecom, which had around 450,000 IPTV subscribers
at the end of last year and which ranks as Europes Number One IPTV provider.
China, though, still trails Europe, where the IPTV total is now substantially
more than 4 million (we wont talk about IPTV subscriber numbers, or the abject
lack of them so far, in the United States).
Outside of Hong Kong, Analysys says the top three IPTV regions in China are
Henan, Shanghai and Heilongjiang, each with more than 100,000 subs. All of the
numbers pale, to no surprise, in the face of the 17.29 million digitalcable
subscribers Chinese cable operators now boast.
Analysys also took a look at the hardware vendors selling into the Chinese
market, saying UTStarcom, with a 43.3percent market share, leads the pack.
However, other than UTStarcom, whose corporate headquarters are American, the
only nonChinese company with any discernible market share is AlcatelLucent,
whose Alcatel Shanghai Bell subsidiary has a tiny 0.5percent market share.
Of the Chinese manufacturers selling into their domestic IPTV market, VCOM, with
a 39.6percent market share, dominates. ZTE reports a 12.8percent market share,
and Huawei trails with only 3.7 percent.
The neareven split of the market between Chinese manufacturers and UTStarcom
closely reflects the technology split in Chinese IPTV. China Telecom, which
sports the countrys bigger IPTV base, uses the international H.264 compression
standard for its IPTV offering. China Netcom, meanwhile, uses the homegrown
Chinese Audio Video Coding Standard (AVS) compression standard, which was
developed by the Chinese in part to avoid what they feel are high IP license
fees for H.264. Use of the AVS standard costs only 13 cents per set top, while
HV.264 is $2.50, according to estimates out of the AVS group.