Global telecommunications and infrastructure company Ericsson, purchased MediaRoom from Microsoft last year and managed to turn the division into one of the world’s most innovative and deployed IPTV platforms.
According to the company, Mediaroom-powered TV services are offered by over 60 global operators in 23 countries, delivering services to nearly 13 million households with approximately 24 million set-top boxes. As a leader in first-to-scale features such as wireless receivers, multi-room DVR, instant channel change, and many others, Mediaroom is used by operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Portugal Telecom, TELUS and Swisscom AG, among others.
Ben Huang, Head of Global Marketing and Mediaroom Division at Ericsson spoke to IT News Africa during the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, about the new ways in which content is delivered to television sets.
“We have to shift and start rethinking the use of television and media – not only from a consumer perspective, but also that more television services are landing on mobile and PC devices, and not on actual television sets.”, Huang said.
It goes much deeper than just content- “From a technology perspective, it needs to be powered more by different elements. The swapping of screens and the use of a second screen is a very radical shift from where it has been. That is one shift that is happening.”
Huang contends that manufacturers and content providers alike, have to make provision for multiple screens.
When asked where Ericsson fits into the picture, he said, “we can enable a technology platform that will allow for all experiences. Our role as Ericsson, has been traditionally in mobile infrastructure. In developing markets, we have seen that the first connection will be on a mobile device.”
From an African perspective, Huang explained that requirements vary and it might take a while for IPTV to take off. “Some countries in Africa have a more developed mobile infrastructure. But in the long term, given the diversity, we have to think of a platform that is suited to the circumstances. We have a road map for Africa, but I can probably say within the next five years or so.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor