We speak to Dr. Qing Xiao, Head of IPTV Services at China Telecom (Shanghai), about the telco’s progress to date with IPTV services, its most popular
eatures, and how she believes an operator can most effectively boost customer loyalty.
What level of success has China Telecom achieved with its IPTV service to date?
China Telecom had reached over 12mn IPTV subscribers by the end of 2011. Shanghai currently has more than 1.5mn IPTV subscribers and is the city with the highest number of IPTV subscribers in China.
China Telecom has already established its IPTV 2.0 standard, which provides a unified authentication system and a unified, standardised interface between IPTV set-top boxes and the IPTV platform.
Now, IPTV 2.0 is being upgraded to the IPTV 3.0 standard, which will be compatible with the video format and control protocol of Internet video, such as VBR and HTTP.
China Telecom is setting up the architecture of an end-to-end IPTV QoS assurance system, which can help its regional operators discover faults immediately and quickly troubleshoot any problems.
What are the most popular features and content on the service?
Our IPTV service is comprised of more than 100 channels of live standard-definition TV, and eleven HD channels, which are delivered to a standardised in-home set-top box.
The video bit rate of content is 2.5Mbps for SD and 10Mbps for HD. A “TV replay” service allows subscribers to play any programme up to 72 hours after it is broadcast, with “trick play” features that allow users to pause, fast-forward or rewind up to 60 minutes, at any time.
The IPTV service also has a large library of video-on-demand (VOD) with more than 13,000 hours of video and audio content. There are also many value-added-services, including information browsing, gaming, Kala OK, online shopping, online education, video communication, and interactive advertisements.
Time-shifted TV and TV Replay are basic features of the service, and are enjoyed by all subscribers.
What methods do you believe are most effective for boosting IPTV customer loyalty?
There are three key points for boosting IPTV customer loyalty: providing HD video and high fidelity audio to bring immersive experiences to the audiences; improving the Quality of Experience (QoE) while playing video: no packet loss, no jitter, short channel switching time, short buffer time; and finally deploying multi-screen TV, which allows the same household to consume video services on different screens, such as letting users control their TV from mobile phones.
Dr. Qing Xiao will be speaking at the Broadband IP&TV Asia 2012 event, taking place in Malaysia on 15th-16th May. For more information and to register, please visit http://asia.broadbandworldforum.com