A new report claims telcos are “snapping at the heels” of the established Pay-TV operators in Western Europe.

Telcos are making their mark as the number of homes with IPTV hit 27 million, or 15 percent of all TV households, at the end of last year.

This means IPTV is now “a viable platform”, according to a report from Futuresource Consulting.

The research firm said moves from Altice and Vodafone in particular, which have both been in acquisitive mode, had been “significant”.

Altice, which yesterday added Cablelink to its growing portfolio, and Vodafone had a combined footprint in Europe of 14 million TV homes at the end of 2014.

This has led to them joining Sky, Liberty Global and Orange in the top five Pay-TV operators in Western Europe.

Looking ahead Futuresource said IPTV subscriber growth of 30 percent in the region would outperform that of both cable and satellite, which will see a decline of nine percent and growth of six percent respectively.

Further, it predicts that investment in premium and exclusive content will increase as telcos look to drive revenue and create differentiation.

However, Futuresource warned telcos that their current strategy of using TV service bundles to attract and retain broadband subscribers did limit differentiation.

By way of example, it cited the growing number of partnerships telcos have signed with Netflix.

[Read more: Vodafone UK renews Netflix partnership]

The imminent launch in Spain will be the 13th European market that the VoD service has launched in.

EE and Telecom Italia are speaking at the European Communications OTT/Digital Content Strategy Seminar in London next month. Click here to read more

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