Strategic research company The Arab Advisors Group has released a report in late January 2013, titled “IPTV in the Arab World 2014”. The 104-page report, which has 77 detailed exhibits, provides a comprehensive analysis of the IPTV availability in the Arab world, IPTV services providers, their bundled packages and lists of the offered free to air and pay TV channels.
According to the report, fourteen service providers in nine countries -Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE- in the Arab World offered IPTV services by October 2013, up from eleven service providers in eight countries offering IPTV by year-end 2011. As broadband adoption increases in the region, several operators in the Arab World have plans to implement IPTV in the near future. In the GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE, FTTH (Fiber-in-the-home) expansion has triggered strong demand for Triple Play services.
The adoption of IPTV is flourishing in the GCC countries in particular; by September 2013, STC managed to increase its IPTV subscription base by 76 percent 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 yearend 2010 to 88,398 by September 2013 – a growth of 177 percent.
Reportedly, there are ongoing or planned projects by service providers and/or governments in six other countries, with the aim to upgrade the countries’ legacy networks and install fiber optics to facilitate offering services including IPTV in the near future. These countries are: Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia.