IPTV technology may give incumbent US telcos the chance to take the lead in triple-play, according to research published today.
The study from Analysys noted that cable operators currently have the first-mover advantage in triple-play.
But successfully exploiting the capabilities of IPTV, such as interactivity and a potentially unlimited selection of channels, could give telcos a competitive boost while yielding increased revenue, higher revenue per user and lower churn.
Using switched-video technology, IPTV can support scheduled programming, video on demand and, unlike cable TV, a practically unlimited number of TV channels and video content.
IPTV could also enable a range of interactive features allowing viewers to change the camera angle during a TV programme, for example, or purchase products by using web-browsing functions built into the TV programming itself.
However, the analyst firm highlighted important uncertainties that could affect the success of telco-provided IPTV.
"US cable operators have well established video and broadband services, and over 73 million TV subscribers generating revenues of nearly $60bn per annum," said Michael Kende, co-author of the Analysys report.
"With such formidable competition, incumbent telcos will need to execute strong business cases if they are to succeed with this new technology."
The regulatory climate, along with the reaction of cable firms and the ability of telcos to gain access to compelling content, are among the variables that will determine the future of telco IPTV in the US market, according to Analysys.
Despite the strong arguments for telco IPTV, Kende maintained that several issues could affect implementations and weaken the IPTV business case for incumbent US telcos.
It also remains to be seen whether IPTV will generate real interest among advertisers, and stimulate significant mass-market appeal.
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