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IPTV services expand in the Arab World

18 February 2014
IPTV services expand in the Arab World

According to a new report ‘IPTV in the Arab World 2014’, published by the Arab Advisors Group’s Media Strategic Research Service, IPTV is in its initial stage of penetration in the Arab World. By October, 2013, fourteen service providers in nine countries offered IPTV services, up from 11 providers in eight countries by the end of 2011.

In the GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE, FttH (fibre to the home) expansion has triggered strong demand for Triple Play services, and the adoption of IPTV is flourishing in those countries. By September 2013, STC (Saudi Telecom Company) managed to increase its IPTV subscription base by 76% over the corresponding period of 2012. The markets in UAE and Qatar also registered strong uptake of IPTV services; for example Ooredoo’s triple play accounts jumped from 31,873 by year end of 2010 to 88,398 by September 2013 – a growth of 177%.

Reportedly, there are ongoing or planned projects by service providers or governments in six other countries – Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia -with the aim to upgrade legacy networks and install fibre optics to facilitate offering a variety of services, including IPTV, in the near future.

“As broadband internet adoption expands in the Arab world, IPTV becomes a viable option for entertainment,” Ms. Rawan Awwad, Arab Advisors’ research analyst wrote in the report. “The competition among IPTV service providers within the same country pushes its offered features into frequent upgrades and improvements, which makes the user’s TV viewing experience more flexible and interactive.”

The full 104-page report is available for download here.

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