Despite announcing the launch of IPTV services in Greater Caracas nearly two years ago, in May 2014, Venezuelan national telco CANTV did not introduce a full commercial package for all capable DSL lines in the capital region until late-March 2016, according to a report on local website Con-cafe.com. Latin American journals NextTVLatAm and TeleSemana are also reporting the same. CANTV’s website currently advertises IPTV for Greater Caracas customers featuring one ‘Basic Plan’ only, with 59 channels (52 TV and seven radio) plus video-on-demand (VoD) and digital video recording (DVR), among other features, for VEF195.6 (USD30.8) per month. The service is available for post-paid residential CANTV broadband (‘ABA’) subscribers, and requires the purchase/rental of an IPTV set-top box and a modem manufactured by ZTE.
Having focused its main pay-TV efforts on the satellite (DTH) and digital terrestrial TV (DTT) segments nationwide, CANTV had announced that it was augmenting its TV services with IPTV in Caracas over new faster 8Mbps-10Mbps DSL lines in 2014, while saying that it would subsequently deploy IPTV in other areas of the country – but the regional expansion has not yet begun, whilst up until now only a limited number of Caracas residents were offered the service, apparently due to available DSL speeds (while an initial promise of ’87 channels’ also fell short). Anecdotal reports from end-users on the Con-cafe website confirm that CANTV offered them the IPTV service in 2014 via telemarketing, whilst other users posted sceptical comments regarding the actual bandwidth received on CANTV’s ‘up to 10Mbps’ DSL lines, with some also noting that the telco’s channel line-up is limited compared to other pay-TV providers such as the market leader, satellite-based DirectTV.