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Huawei leads 19mn+ Indian STB market

India’s set-top box market has been steadily growing over the last few years, according to a new report from ABI Research, which predicts that more than 19mn set-top boxes will be shipped in India over the course of 2012.

“The cable TV digitisation, mandated by the government, will spur set-top box shipment increases in India for the next several years,” said Sam Rosen, principal analyst at ABI Research.

The Indian government’s cable TV digitisation policy now specifies that cable TV digitisation will occur in four phases by December 2014, causing cable STB shipments to surge from 2012 as larger operators begin their digital STB deployments, according to the report.

However, the cable digitisation process is expected to progress far slower than the government mandate specifies, as cable operators struggle to procure enough set-top boxes.

Adoption of high-definition set-top boxes in India currently accounts for only 11% of overall shipments, but is expected to accelerate over the coming years.

“The increasing adoption of HDTV sets and cable TV digitisation is expected to bring more HD channels and HD services in India,” comments research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn.

The Indian market is dominated by foreign set-top box vendors, with nearly 70% of units installed in Indian households being imported from foreign manufacturers, especially Chinese ones.

In 2011, Huawei led the Indian set-top box market with a 24% share, followed by UK firm Pace with 12%. Chinese firms Changhong and Skyworth, and US firm Cisco, are also selling set-top boxes in India.

Domestic STB production is believed likely to increase in the years to come, with some overseas firms establishing set-top box factories in India, as well as Indian companies focused on building low-cost set-top boxes.

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