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There will be more than 50 million IPTV users worldwide by the end of the decade, an analyst firm has predicted.

Research conducted by Point Topic has indicated that adoption rates will continue to increase through to 2020

Point Topic forecast that around a third of Europe's 160 million broadband subscribers will be using web-enabled TV services.

Oliver Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Point Topic, explained that IPTV adoption levels are high in France in particular.

"A number of conditions exist which has made the diffusion of IPTV through the market much easier and quicker than in others, perhaps the main driver has been competition," he stated.

"France, with Free Internet as a good example, has much clearer and more transparent tariffs for IPTV and that has not only earned the consumers trust but allowed them to align the value they derive from the services with the amount they pay."

Mr Johnson suggested that this "simple equation" can help operators attract greater consumer interest in broadband-based television .

"Often the price isn't obvious for each bundle constituent, and there are a number of reasons for this, but the end result is that the consumer resists purchase far more than they might if they felt they had better information," he added.

The entrance of Google and Apple in particular into the internet TV market could be "a game changer", he claimed.

"Along with services like Netflix, Hulu and offerings from other suppliers, we could see a significant increase in competition and, hopefully for consumers, more clarity and lower prices."

In the UK, IPTV adoption rates could be boosted by the launch of YouView, a single-standard, subscription-free video on-demand service backed by national TV corporations and broadband providers.

BT already has its own IPTV service – Vision - enabling internet users to watch TV via their broadband connection.

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