Ericsson inks important win for its MediaFirst TV platform

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

Sep 13, 2017

MediaFirst aimed at reaching every screen    Source: Ericsson

MediaFirst aimed at reaching every screen Source: Ericsson

  • Ericsson scores 3.7 million subscribers for MediaFirst TV platform
  • Buyer is  Jupiter Telecommunications Japan’s largest cable system operator
  • Deal announced to coincide with IBC

Ericsson has just announced a significant win for its MediaFirst TV platform (perfectly timed for IBC, the big TV show). It’s been chosen by Jupiter Telecommunications in Japan to provide the technology for that operator’s next generation TV service. J.COM is Japan’s largest cable system operator with 3.7 million subscribers.

The deal will be extra welcome for Ericsson (note: have avoided the word beleaguered here) which is currently undergoing major surgery and ongoing job slashings as it tries to find the best way to transition the business from its traditional shape into a next generation software driven sort of powerhouse. This after several years of gentle and recently not-so-gentle decline.  

A big win for MediaFirst is just what the doctor ordered.

The media business was being mentioned as a possible sell-off just a few months ago (although nothing was set in stone) - all part of a programme to get Ericsson to pull back and concentrate on its core again.

We noted earlier this year that Ericsson was facing a classic ‘legacy’ products dilemma and revenue gap until at least  2018 when it expects its new virtualized, cloud-based media platforms to get traction.

In that context the ‘strategic’ deal with J.COM may well have made the MediaFirst platform more likely to stay under Ericsson’s wing, especially as the deal seems to envisage a long-term relationship. Ericsson says, “The basic design phase will commence in Q4 2017 and the companies will solidify the development agreement subsequent to this.”

The new TV service will provide J:COM subscribers with new features including personalized services on all screens and the ability to watch live TV and access content on demand on any device.

Ericsson will also deploy the industry standard RDK in J:COM’s set top boxes and a conditional access system to enable the delivery of Ultra HD content.

And it can see ‘new monetization opportunities’ such as more effective content recommendation services, by leveraging Ericsson’s advanced data analytics.

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