Is India ready for IPTV – my answer most definitely is Yes.

The IPTV Industry market was valued at ~USD 30 billion in 2015 and is forecasted to reach a staggering CAGR of 13 percent from 2016 to 2020.

The increasing use and app-based culture of Internet-based services is being considered as an important factor of this growth for IP-based television. Ever since 2012, the market size of increasing population of Internet usage has been going up world over.

Everything in entertainment Industry has gained significantly through Internet and IPTV is no different. The Indian TV industry is more than ~150 million homes and is in the second place to China and LATAM.

The utmost question that comes across from this stand point is whether we, as Indians have the right infrastructure and affordability to enjoy this two-way communication. This is what makes us think.

The major challenge in this upcoming technology and application of it is the reach of Internet through high-speed broadband network to give access to major cities and Tier-I and II areas of India. Although the market is there for TV watching population, it is dominated by DTH and cable operators with competitive pricing and regional relaying telecast. Thus the IPTV stands a mountainous task of changing the top of mind of the customer from regular one-way communication to two-way communication of IPTV. This needs to be achieved through pricing structure, availability, and of course by educating the consumer about some of its better features.

Furthermore, IPTV is of three types. The first type comprises the major cities of India where it has already created a niche for itself as a leisure viewing, and where it has already started addressing the video-on-demand such as Netflix, etc. The second type is like the one in UK, where BBC makes the programs available for the last week for viewing through BBC iplayer; this is also called time-shifted IPTV. The third type of IPTV is the Live IPTV.

Roadmap for IPTV in India is still challenging before it can pick up momentum like wireless communication or DTH services. A lot of issues exist as a barrier for growth of IPTV in India.

  • lInfrastructure is one of the biggest challenges for IPTV in India. We lack the required high-speed fiber optic cables that enable IPTV services till the last mile.
  • lThe existing broadband speed and Infrastructure need to be upgraded by leaps and bounds in order to have a seamless quality of service.
  • lIndia lacks the required infrastructure to support ubiquitous IPTV. Current subscribers have criticized the quality of service offered by IPTV companies.

The use of IPTV can be made in other areas too like education, agriculture, health, and commerce. While IPTV has hardly made any inroads to the last mile connectivity, it has the potential of bringing a choice-based user-friendly interactive TV to the home at affordable prices.

With luck and laser-sharp focus, IPTV may create similar history the way broadband Internet did in 2000s. Back then, people were frustrated with limitations of dial-up connectivity and demanded higher quality of Internet connectivity. Broadband provided enough revenue for the telecommunication companies to upgrade their networks. If the viewers experience this new concept and get convenience with it, no doubt it will be a voila time for telecom operators once again.