Cable Technology Feature Article
Ericsson Announces Cloud-based Pay TV Platform Initiative
By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor
Hot on the heels of agreeing to buy over-the-top (OTT) and multiscreen specialist Azuki Systems, Ericsson (News - Alert) announced its intention to take TV to the cloud.
The gearmaker said that it is building an end-to-end integrated platform for pay-TV service providers that will be offered in a software-as-a-service model, based entirely on Web and cloud technologies. The aptly named “Future TV Anywhere platform” will foment a common video delivery model across the device and network ecosystem to better meet consumer thirst for multiscreen services, it said.
Ericsson believes that by 2020 there will be at least 50 billion connected devices, 15 billion of which will offer video to users, making for a potentially hellish fragmentation scenario where different kinds of content from different providers will only work optimally on specific devices. But using standard Web protocols for content handling can give operators the ability to better innovate and drive efficiency, just as we’ve seen in the Web economy at large.
“Consumers use numerous video services to find content and switch between multiple devices with varying content viewing abilities,” the company noted. “Ericsson…is enabling and building the ecosystem for the future of TV - a future where TV is anywhere on any device and the experience evolves with the consumer.”
Details were scant, but the Swedish infrastructure giant did say that the SaaS (News - Alert) platform will include analytics driven by big data, helping operators be more nimble in terms of understanding the customer experience and usage/video consumption trends—in turn managing new investments quickly and cost-effectively.
"Pay-TV at Web speed is a critical element in Ericsson's TV and media strategy, enabling fast innovation and implementation so that our customers can win in this highly competitive marketplace,” said Per Borgklint, senior vice president and head of business unit support solutions at Ericsson. “Our investments in this area further position Ericsson to help operators deliver a consistent TV Anywhere experience while also monetizing a wider array of services."
Those investments include the Azuki acquisition as well as the purchase of the widely deployed IPTV platform Mediaroom from Microsoft (News - Alert) last year.