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hugh 2007-04-25 11:41 AM

IPTV Subscribers top 100,000 in Canada
Research by Digital Home has found that the number of Canadians subscribing to Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) has officially topped the 100,000 mark.

Those numbers are Sasktel and MTS. Numbers for Aliant and Telus (which are probably very small) are not available.

Mozza 2007-04-25 11:55 AM

MTS posted yesterday that they topped 70,000 subscriptions in Winnipeg this past year.

SensualPoet 2007-04-25 03:19 PM

Telus TV and Aliant TV combined might reach 10,000 or 15,000. Not counted is Bell ExpressVu TV for Condos which is kinda, sorta IPTV; Bell also hasn't released figures but some educated folks say it is also in that same range.

captaintrav 2007-04-27 07:03 PM

Hmm... I wonder whose math is right;

Sasktel is supposed to have around 40,000 subscribers. That means if the companies' own figures are correct, Sasktel and MTS have more than 100,000 between the two of them already..

edit: whoops, maybe I should read the article. In any case, Sasktel's released number of subscribers than the last number I heard, and I work there :) So that means the number of subscribers has grown substantially, I beleive it was around 44,000 as of Q4-06

SensualPoet 2007-04-27 09:55 PM

SaskTel reports over 50,000 TV subscribers in its 2006 annual report (dated Mar 31, 2007).


Buried there you will find they specifically call out "51,277 Max TV subscribers" at Dec 31, 2006.

hugh 2007-04-27 10:28 PM

or if you read the article referred to in post #1!

SensualPoet 2007-04-28 01:28 PM

If I'm not mistaken, IPTV or IPTV-like variations -- as represented by MTS, SaskTel, Bell ExpressVu TV for Condos, Aliant TV, Telus TV (in approx. order of launch) -- have been in market since 2003. If you allow for a couple of years to get organised, then maybe you can say the product has been in market by these companies, to paying consumers able to make an informed choice of this kind of TV vs cable or satellite -- for about two years.

If you apply the same metric to the launch of satellite, I think you'll find IPTV is WAY, WAY behind.

Satellite customers: 1997 - 3,912; 1998 - 224,689; 1999 - 550,773

You could argue that 2007 is really 1999 for IPTV in Canada but, clearly, this technology is being embraced MUCH slower by consumers and providers.

hugh 2007-04-28 07:55 PM

Well basically only IPTV providers are in some of the least populated provinces!

If Bell and Telus actually offered to all their customers, things might be different.

SensualPoet 2007-04-29 11:19 AM

I don't disagree at all - in fact, it's a good statistic to show how much more complicated the technology is, and how little it offers over the existing competition. When satellite came in, many cable systems offered little more than 50 channels; digital hadn't arrived. Satellite could offer more channels and a high quality TV system outside of urban cable areas. Fewer homes had multiple TVs (3 and 4 is not so uncommon these days) so it was less of a hassle to get the home's only set on the system.

The Bell ExpressVu IPTV team are right, in my opinion, to delay their entry into the market until they can offer services that clearly differentiate themselves from cable. The problem is progressive competitors like Rogers are constantly moving the goal posts. People are not going to switch their cable service to IPTV en masse just because "IPTV is a cool idea".

Ultimately it's all about the networks: coax cable, twisted pair copper wire or fibre into the home plus national or extended fibre coverage for business traffic plus the wireless mobile networks. A company which can master all three of these has the ability to provide seamless, efficient service -- like one phone number over multiple devices (a mobile phone on the mobile network switching automatically to your in-home wireless hub and wired network to continue your call giving you cheaper rates and benefits of wireline as long as you are in range) or shared content over multiple devices (pay once for content and be able to view it on your mobile phone, your computer, your large screen TV or manipulate it in different ways depending on the device) -- is going to grow in importance and profits.

A great deal of what we do today was nothing but science fiction earlier in our own lifetimes. So if you think some of the ideas in the paragraph above seem preposterous or unnecessary, think back as recently as 10 years ago when Rogers was first in North America to deliver dedicated Internet service to the home -- who would need "always on" computing? Who really needed computing? Shift back 15 years earlier still to the launch of the cell phone and the home computer -- who would ever need those things?

The Telco IPTV visionaries cannot yet deliver a fraction of what they'd like to: the question is, will they figure out how to do enough of it, soon enough, before like-minded folks find a way to deliver it over cable? We don't need two power grids into the home, one delivering AC, the other DC: the same will play out for the networked home -- will coax be good enough to encourage customers to "cut" their copper wires? In some North American territories, instead of 99% penetration of wireline phone, the rate has dropped to 80% -- as folks make due with cellphones as their only phone service, and use cable for TV and Internet.

It will be an interesting 5 or 10 years ahead of us: I wonder just how MUCH things will change in that period.

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