ZTE’s core IPTV offering has been stable since 2008. Since then, its major thrust in this area has been to move from numerous trials to large-scale deployment. It now boasts experience with deployment at scale that it claims translates to faster rollout.
ZTE claims leading market share in Asia on the strength of its Chinese user base. However, it has moved away from messaging about IPTV to focus on the more fashionable topics of machine-to-machine communications and mobile broadband. At the same time, its next strategic target is success in developed Western markets, where its domestic success is discounted.
We believe ZTE can market its IPTV strengths to improve its international image. True, scale is one example of the ways its offering is optimized for the domestic Chinese market, and some people literally discount numbers by a “China factor”. Yet ZTE can instead focus on the fact that the global market as a whole has moved in the last few years towards its strengths in file-based, integrated SIP/IMS-based video, content distribution networks (CDNs), and home networking.
In addition, ZTE can leverage its experience as a bearer network equipment provider into its IPTV solution by placing emphasis on its CDN capabilities.
It can claim a differentiator in having its own home gateway devices – a position shared only by Cisco and Huawei. It should also be well positioned for the convergence of mobile video and IPTV given that it offers mobile handsets as well.
Both the CDN and the consumer devices areas are critical strategic battlefronts for telecom operators as they seek to retain value in the face of strong over-the-top competition.
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