The line between TV and mobile services is blurring, and in many cases that blur in between them is a cloud.
That's the logic behind Ericsson's planned US$95 billion acquisition of Fabrix Systems, which sells a cloud-based platform for delivering DVR (digital video recorder), video on demand and other services.
The acquisition is intended to help service providers deliver what Ericsson calls TV Anywhere, for viewing on multiple devices with high-quality and relevant content for each user. Cable operators, telecommunications carriers and other service providers are seeing rapid growth in video streaming and want to reach consumers on multiple screens. That content increasingly is hosted in cloud data centers and delivered via Internet Protocol networks.
Fabrix, which has 103 employees in the U.S. and Israel, sells an integrated platform for media storage, processing and delivery. Ericsson said the acquisition will make new services possible on Ericsson MediaFirst and Mediaroom as well as other TV platforms.
Stockholm-based Ericsson expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter. Fabrix Systems will become part of Ericsson's Business Unit Support Solutions.
Other players usually associated with data networks are also moving into the once-specialized realm of TV. At last year's CES, Cisco Systems introduced Videoscape Unity, a system for providing unified video services across multiple screens, and at this year's show it unveiled Videoscape Cloud, an OpenStack-based video delivery platform that can be run on service providers' cloud infrastructure instead of on specialized hardware.
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