Ericsson is to acquire video encoding provider Envivio for $125 million (€112 million) in order to boost its media delivery portfolio, after announcing new solutions and contract wins with AT&T and Channel 5.

The vendor said it had purchased US-based Envivio in order to get its hands on the company’s video capabilities, which enable content to be delivered on a range of devices.

Envivio’s software-based technology offers encoding/transcoding, processing, packaging and ad insertion.

Ericsson said the acquisition would “greatly enhance” its software video encoding capabilities and boost its portfolio of media enrichment, processing and delivery and TV platform technology.

Envivio counts Comcast, Liberty Global, Sky, Telstra and Time warner Cable amongst its customers and claims to have an installed base of over 400 TV service provider and content owners globally.

The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year.

Per Borgklint, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson, said: “The combination will strengthen our encoding position with both custom silicon and pure software encoding, delivering performance and flexibility.”

Meanwhile, AT&T has selected Ericsson to enhance its TV platform.

The vendor will work with the US carrier to combine its U-verse and DIRECTV satellite platforms in order to allow content to be delivered to customers over both fixed and satellite networks.

Enrique Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and CTO of AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services, said: "By collaborating with Ericsson, AT&T will be able to enhance its service offerings across its networks.

“Combining these technologies together uniquely positions AT&T to offer consumers an unparalleled bundled video entertainment, mobile and broadband experience."

UK-based broadcaster Channel 5 has also selected Ericsson for a multi-year broadcast and media services deal.

The contract includes playout, media management, metadata and access services for Channel 5's entire portfolio of terrestrial and digital channels, including its video-on-demand platform.

It follows recent deals Ericsson has signed with Channel 5 rivals the BBC, ITV and BT in the UK.

Earlier this week, the vendor announced further deals with Swisscom and Dutch broadcaster SBS/Sanoma.

Ericsson also launched its own pay TV platform. MediaFirst is described as a cloud-based B2B2C platform that allows operators to deliver a combination of pay TV and OTT content to consumers.

The solution, which was first trailed in 2014 and has since been in trials with Canadian operator Telus, offers multiscreen capabilities, content management and recording to the cloud.

Finally, Ericsson has launched a new technology for video-on-demand (VoD) services.

The vendor’s “pure software” VoD Infrastructure Solution comprises a “specialised” video storage and processing platform that improves capacity for the addition of new VoD devices and formats such as ultra-high definition.

It also supports catch-up and recording to cloud capabilities, in addition to reducing storage requirements for operators by offering a “Master Video Library” that allows large content libraries to be stored on the same server stack.

Ericsson said the launch was a response to new consumer demands, such as the ability to watch TV anywhere and on any device, as well the growing trend of “binge-watching”.

Itai Tomer, Head of Cloud DVR, Ericsson, said: "The internet era of TV has brought with it opportunities for TV service providers of all sizes, as long as they adapt to the habits and preferences of their customers.

“To compete with fierce competition from OTT providers, all forward-thinking players are looking to offer new services such as catch up TV or start over TV.
“With our solution we are addressing all levels of customers with unique configurations, and giving them the ability to future proof themselves and grow as they see necessary."

Despite a sharp increase in media activity in recent months, lower licensing sales meant overall revenues at Ericsson’s TV & Media declined in the three months to June.


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