Report: Seven Service Providers in Six Countries in The Arab World Offer Commercial IPTV

8 Jun, 2009

Seven service providers in six countries in the Arab World offer commercial IPTV services in May 2009, up from four service providers in three countries offering IPTV in August 2007. As broadband adoption increases in the region, several operators in the Arab World have plans to implement IPTV in the near future, according to a new report published by the Arab Advisors Group.

IPTV is in its initial stage of penetration in the Arab World, and is still developing. Seven service providers in six countries in the MENA region offer commercial IPTV services. These are: Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar and UAE. Reportedly, there are ongoing or planned projects by service providers and/or governments in seven other countries, which will, in the future, enable offering local IPTV services. These are: Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.  

Senior industry executives debated the IPTV issue at the Arab Advisors 6th annual media and telecoms convergence conference held in Amman on June 1 and 2, 2009. They pointed to the massive supply of FTA channels and the widespread piracy of DVDs and Pay TV as obstacles facing IPTV providers. They also noted that ongoing FTTH projects in some countries should enhance the fortunes of future IPTV uptake as media broadcasters leverage its interactivity. 

The new report, “An Overview of IPTV in the Arab World” was released to the Arab Advisors Group’s Media Strategic Research Service subscribers on May 13, 2009. The report provides an overview of IPTV in the Arab World. The report includes details of IPTV services that the above mentioned operators offer; furthermore, the report includes fiber optics projects of the other operators in the region that are preparing to launch the service in the future. 

“Internet Protocol TV also called TV over IP (IPTV); delivers scheduled TV programs and video-on-demand (VoD) via the IP protocol and digital streaming techniques used to watch video on the Internet.,” Faten Bader, Arab Advisors Senior Research Analyst wrote in the report. She aded “The IP-based platform offers significant advantages such as: Video on Demand (VoD), the advantage of triple play, the automatic archiving of the Video broadcast in Real Media format, making the TV viewing experience more interactive and personalized, the opportunity for integration and convergence, and it allows the operator to report statistics of programs/channels/adverts watched.” which also represents a significant privacy risk for the average user.  

#Photo by YLE Uudet.

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