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Telefonica embraces Ericsson for video

By PETER WHITE

Published: 14 December, 2012

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For the full version of this story, request this week's copy of our paid weekly service, Faultline, at www.rethinkresearch.biz/faultline or email sales@rethinkresearch.biz

Telefonica has just handed control of integration and implementation of its Global Video Platform (GVP) to Ericsson, rather than go with the obvious choice of Alcatel-Lucent, its current IPTV equipment partner. GVP has been built as a unifying platform for Telefonica's worldwide pay TV operations, mostly in Europe and Latin America, combining several delivery types including satellite, fixed Internet and mobile. This is a massive win for the Swedish cellular leader.

Ericsson first got involved in systems integration with Telefonica in July 2010 when it took over running of its pre-paid billing operations for mobile services in Spain and Brazil, involving a total 500 staff, in a seven year deal covering 100 million subscribers.

On the back of this, Ericsson has won the TV contract as primary integrator for the whole of GVP. This is a step up because it will entail more complex service delivery aspects and integration across multiple delivery platforms, including satellite and fixed Internet as well as mobile. It will draw heavily on Ericsson's TV infrastructure expertise acquired with the purchase of Tandberg TV for $1.4 billion, completed in January 2010.

Alcatel Lucent has been intimately involved with Telefonica's IPTV plans ever since 2006, when it rescued the operator from the problems associated with its own in-house developed middleware called Imagenio, which is also the name of the IPTV service in Spain. Alcatel Lucent also won the business to combine Telefonica's existing telecommunication OSS under a single global platform for monitoring and management, and this will now have to fit in with Ericsson's OSS for video.

Microsoft Mediaroom middleware will play center stage within GVP, its largest new contract since Mediaroom hit the stage in 2004 when it won AT&T and Deutsche Telekom and Swisscom. Mediaroom DRM Playready is part of the technology as well that Telefonica will deploy.

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