This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Convergence markets in the South and South East regions of Asia. South Asian countries include:- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. South East Asian countries include:- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. Subjects covered include:
Convergence and regulatory issues
Broadband TV (IPTV)
TV over DSL/IPTV
Interactive TV (iTV)
This Asia market report covers the economies in the South and South East Asia sub-region. It takes an overall look at the Convergence and Broadcasting markets. The markets covered include:
Afghanistan As the political and social rebuilding of Afghanistan proceeds somewhat fitfully following years of war and civil unrest, the country has started putting a new national telecommunications infrastructure in place. The 2001 war destroyed a telecommunications network already suffering serious disrepair due to neglect by the Taliban. The nation’s network of telephone lines was left barely functioning. With telecommunications set to play a crucial role in rebuilding the country’s shattered economy and society, a properly functioning basic telephone network was always a priority. An important step was the creation of the Ministry of Communications (MoC) by the Transitional Government in early 2002. The challenge has been to attract and manage foreign investment in the country. There have been some positive signs in this regard, but there remains much work to be done. We have included the broadcasting information we have.
Bangladesh Bangladesh’s television households are served by more than 100 terrestrial broadcasters, two satellite broadcasters and 2,000 cable operators. Cable TV was first introduced in 1993 and experienced double-digit growth throughout the 1990s. Historically the market was operated with multiple head-ends, small operators, limited channel access, low technology absorption and poor end-of-line quality. It has begun migrating towards the Multiple Systems Operators (MSOs) service with single head-end. Hybrid Fibre-Coax (HFC) cable is to be rolled out with value-added services such as Internet and telephony over the cable. The government has been actively considering introducing a Broadcasting Bill to regulate the industry.
Cambodia As its efforts are directed towards building up its telecommunications infrastructure, the country continues to struggle with the legacy resulting from years of civil war and instability. Ongoing political problems in the period since the end of the war have made it hard to put the necessary administrative institutions in place. This has had a major impact on the telecom sector which remains in need of serious regulatory reform and a general strengthening of the regulatory role. For a period, the absence of a properly functioning government saw all infrastructure projects involving international aid suspended and government funded projects were also constrained, with a corresponding impact on foreign investor confidence. This had a negative effect on the telecom sector.
India Since television was first introduced in India in 1959, the country has emerged as one of the largest TV markets in the world. Television is estimated to reach more than 50% of all individuals (urban and rural) in India. In the last decade the television programming landscape has also been totally transformed. India has one of the largest broadcasting networks in the world. Doordarshan, the Indian National Television Network, was established in 1959 and reaches more than 90% of the country’s population. The type of expansion witnessed in the broadcasting sector over the last decade is expected to continue. Convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications is in its early stages.
Indonesia Free-to-air (FTA) television has had a substantial impact in Indonesia, with two out of every three households having access to television. The advertising market suffered a major setback as a result of the Asian economic crisis, but has been recovering strongly and sector revenues are on the increase. The pay TV market has not been so fortunate and has generally struggled to build its customers base. This has been partly due to the fact that pay TV is too expensive for the average Indonesian household at a subscription of around US$22 per month. The sector also suffers problems relating to infrastructure.
Laos The small developing nation of Laos continues to work to strengthen its economy. Its communist government maintains a strong overall grip on the country. Its media, in particular - both electronic and print - is closely controlled. Not surprisingly, television offers some especially serious challenges for the country. The government espouses a strong commitment to the protection of Lao culture and to national security. It is these aims, however, that provide the rationale for tight control of the media, including television. At the same time, the government has been allowing the television industry to grow somewhat haphazardly. This report presents an overview of the Lao television market.
Malaysia With its history of tight censorship laws, Malaysia did not open up the television broadcasting market to private operators until 1995. Despite this, the proportion of Malaysian households that have a television set has risen to almost 90% of all households. There are six FTA TV channels and more than 100 pay TV channels offering a wide range of local and foreign programs in a broad selection of languages. Of particular note has been the recent strong growth of satellite TV operator, Astro. This report reviews the development of the television broadcasting sector, as the market sorts itself out and starts to move forward to meet the challenges that new technology is bringing the sector.
Philippines The Philippines has a vibrant media sector. Ownership has been predominantly private and freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution. The first television broadcast was in 1953. There are six FTA nationwide television networks. Cable TV was launched as long ago as 1969, but it is only now starting to really grow, substantially boosted by the prospect of bundling broadcasting with Internet, telephony and other services. Whilst DTH satellite TV has been available in the Philippines since 1999, its large scale adoption awaits the entry of a major player - possibly PLDT - into the market.
Singapore For some years now Singapore’s TV broadcasting sector has been feeling the impact of convergence. In June 2000, the Ministry of Information and the Arts announced the liberalisation of the media industry in Singapore, immediately signalling that broadcasting operators could look at the telecommunications sector and telecommunications companies could look at the broadcasting sector. A new regulator for the sector, the Media Development Authority (MDA), was set up in 2003. There is no doubt that a slower Singapore economy put some downward pressure on growth in the media sector. This report looks at the changes in the digital media market and the impact on the major players and customers.
Thailand The TV broadcasting industry in Thailand continues to wait for the country’s proposed new broadcasting regulator to be put in place. Over the last few years, the government has become bogged down in the process of setting up the National Broadcasting Commission, a key element proposed in the Broadcasting Frequencies Act of January 2000. Whilst the country already has a competitive open market, there are numerous issues to be addressed as operators continue to struggle. Issues of convergence with the telecom sector also need attention.
Vietnam is one of Asia’s most restrictive TV markets, with effectively no cable or satellite TV services available to the general public, and a choice of only three Free-to-Air (FTA) national channels and a single regional channel in most areas.