Strong ADSL infrastructure propels IPTV providers in Vietnam

Vietnamese carriers, led by Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), are using a strong ADSL infrastructure and TV Everywhere-like capabilities to dominate that country's IPTV subscriber base.

According to a story in Vietnamnet Bridge, four carriers, VNPT, Viettel, FPT and VTC have more than a million IPTV subscribers, many of whom are anxious to watch programs with multiple connected devices such as TVs, tablets and smartphones. The down side is that services like VNPT's MyTV, which is attracting about 20,000 new subscribers per month, "can only develop in remote markets, where users register low-cost service packages" so it is "not a profitable business," the story said.

"The biggest advantage of IPTV is the high interaction between service providers and clients and the capability of providing services to individuals' orders," the story said.

IPTV's big disadvantage, the story continued, is that it uses an often-inefficient telephone wireline connection to deliver the necessary broadband speeds. VNPT is upgrading that infrastructure because, the story said, it believes TV subscribers help it retain voice users.

Even with these upgrades and the popularity of IPTV as a television delivery method--especially in rural areas--"experts don't think IPTV would be popular in the future because the service always sets high requirements on broadband" and fixed line subscribers more than a kilometer from the necessary equipment or on old infrastructure "would not be able to access the eservices," the story noted.

Interestingly, while the four carriers have a combined 1 million or so IPTV subs, VNPT alone has 2.7 million broadband Internet subs and is hopeful of reaching the 2 million MyTV subscriber mark eventually. When it hits that high point, though, it will max out its IPTV capabilities.

Viettel and FPT are in even more dire straits "because of the limitations in fixed line infrastructure," the story said, noting that Viettel has 400,000 fixed line and ADSL subscribers and "tens of thousands of NetTV subscribers," who, despite the limitations of the infrastructure are signing up at the rate of 1,000 to 2,000 new users a month.

Viettel, the story concluded, "does not intend to make heavy investment in the service."

For more:
- VietnamNet Bridge carried this story

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