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Ericsson outlines high hopes for Technicolor deal

Ericsson plans to acquire Technicolor's broadcast services division

Ericsson voiced its intention to become the “glue” holding broadcast, IT and telecoms services together, as it announced plans to acquire the broadcast services division of Technicolor for €19m ($ 25m).

Technicolor provides production, postproduction, and distribution services to content creators, network service providers and broadcasters. The firm’s broadcast services division provides play-out services, live production support and media asset management services.

Valter D’Avino, head of managed services at Ericsson, told that the firm is making the acquisition because it believes that the broadcast, TV and telecoms sectors are converging, in terms of the end user experience.

“Whatever the technology is used to reach the end user; it could be tablets, PCs, smartphones, TVs –but at the end, a significant part of the capacity is used up by video transmission in the mobile networks. This is true on the fixed line side as well, and we are seeing a convergence between these sectors,” he said.

“We believe that we can combine telecoms and IT at the same time. Traditionally, telcos have been served and handled by traditional telco players while IT services have been served by traditional IT players and now broadcasters as well, so we can be the glue, from the services viewpoint, between broadcast, IT and telcos.”

Although Technicolor’s broadcast services division operates in just the Netherlands, France and the UK, Ericsson said that its expertise in managed services and its global scale will entice firms to outsource broadcast services to it worldwide.

“We are present in more than 180 countries, selling managed services in US, China, Asia-Pacific and Africa. This combination can represent a good mix that can convince businesses to outsource even more than they had been planning to. Today, there is a vast amount of customers doing this internally and the market is extremely fragmented,” said D’Avino.

He added that, following this deal, which is expected to be completed mid-2012, Ericsson has no plans to make any more acquisitions in the broadcast space, and aims to grow this side of its business organically.

Technicolor added that the transaction will also contribute to contribute to its focus on reducing its debt level and allocating capital investments to its other activities.

The firm’s broadcast services division has 900 employees managing services to more than 200 channels in France, the UK and the Netherlands. The transaction also includes a potential earn-out based on 2015 revenues of the broadcast services activity of up to €9m, and is subject to the relevant customary regulatory administrative approvals and consultations. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

Ericsson wins network upgrade deals with Vodafone and Real Future

Ericsson has won contracts with UK operator group Vodafone and Thailand's Real Future

Ericsson has won contracts with UK operator group Vodafone and Thailand’s Real Future

Operator group Vodafone has called on Swedish vendor Ericsson to help it carry out its Project Spring organic investment programme. The two firms have signed a five-year deal for the Swedish vendor to provide products and services to further enhance the Vodafone network quality as part of the £7bn project.

Ericsson will provide the group with its full RBS 6000 portfolio and its Antenna Integrated Radio (AIR) product. In addition, the vendor’s service professionals will take on the responsibility for planning, end-to-end network rollout, tuning and optimisation of Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and LTE networks.

“We have been a trusted partner of Vodafone for 30 years and we are delighted to continue and expand our relationship with this latest award under Project Spring,” said Hans Vestberg, president and CEO at Ericsson.

The vendor also announced a similar deal with Thai operator Real Future at Mobile World Congress. Ericsson will supply Real Future with its RBS 6000 family of radio base stations and services including project management, system integration, interoperability testing, network design and implementation, as well as competence development of personnel.

“This further strengthens our mobile broadband leadership as the first to launch 4G/LTE in Thailand,” said Vichaow Rakphongphairoj, MD and COO at Real Future’s parent firm True Corporation. “It means more exciting opportunities for businesses, as well as new services for subscribers.”

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Ericsson and Telstra recognised for LTE-Broadcast work

David Everingham

David Everingham

Australian carrier Telstra and Swedish infrastructure firm Ericsson picked up the award for Pushing the Limits in mobile technology at the inaugural Industry Awards on Monday night in Barcelona.

The Pushing the Limits category was the most hotly contested field in the competition, resulting in a tie for first place. Ericsson and Telstra picked up the award for their work on LTE broadcast technology.

In 2013, Ericsson and Telstra conducted the world’s first LTE Broadcast session on a commercial LTE network, allowing the operator to send the same content simultaneously to a very large number of devices in a target area, achieving efficiencies not possible before.

David Everingham, CTO of the Telstra account at Ericsson, collected the award.

The other winners in this category were Radisys and Airspan for their LTE-A solution for small cells.

Ericsson also took home another award on the evening in the Connecting the Unconnected category, winning for its Millennium Villages Project.

Our other awards winners are:

Best Enterprise Cloud Offering: YTL Communications for the 1BestariNet program.

Best Mobile Financial Service: Indosat for Dompetku Mobile Wallet and Mobile Money Service.

Best MVNO: Truphone.

Best use of Cloud Services by a Telco: Telefonica and TOA Technologies for ETAdirect.

Best use of Wifi: Devicescape for its Curated Virtual Network.

Customer Experience Management: Telefonica UK & SpatialBuzz for the Trusted Network Programme.

Innovation in the Device space: Qualcomm for its RF360 Front End Solution.

Best Consumer Cloud Offering: AT&T for the AT&T Speech API.

Green Technology: GreenTouch Consortium for its Green Meter study.

Innovation in Mobile Pricing: AsiaInfo-Linkage for its Real-time Self Service (RTSS) solution.

Best Operator OTT Service Launch: Smart Communications for SmartNet.

Progress in Machine to Machine Communications: Jasper Wireless for its IoT platform.

Pushing the Limits in fixed communications: Alcatel-Lucent for fixed ultra-broadband.

Urban Improvements: Tarana Wireless for its Concentrating Multipoint (CMP) topology.

A previous article on the awards winners incorrectly stated the winners of the Pushing the Limits Mobile category. We would like to apologise for any confusion.

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NSN and Ericsson win new LTE customers in Asia

Both deals represent new customer wins for the vendors.

Both deals represent new customer wins for the vendors.

European network vendors Ericsson and Nokia Solutions and Networks have both announced new LTE customers in key Asian markets. Sweden’s Ericsson has won a supply deal with Japan’s KDDI, while NSN has a contract with China Telecom.

Ericsson will supply second-placed Japanese operator KDDI with an LTE access network and Evolved Packet Core. While this is the firm’s first radio access deal with KDDI, it supplied the operator with an IMS system earlier this year. Ericsson is also an LTE supplier to third-placed Japanese operator Softbank. Jan Signell, head of the north-east Asia region for Ericsson said the firm had been “collaborating closely with KDDI to demonstrate the value of our… LTE solution.”

KDDI had 39.04 million customers at the end of Q3 this year, according to data from Informa’s WCIS Plus, ahead of Softbank on 34.07 million and behind NTT DoCoMo on 61.77 million. KDDI’s existing LTE network has 7.15 million subscribers.

Meanwhile Finland’s Nokia Solutions and Networks described its LTE network deal with third-placed China Telecom as a “breakthrough” for its mobile broadband business. “NSN has steadily invested in its LTE research and development presence in China,” said Markus Borchert, president of Greater China Region at NSN. “This makes us an ideal partner for guaranteeing high network quality and expertise as we support China Telecom … with its 4G launch.”

China Telecom had 181.23 million customers at the end of Q3 this year, behind China Unicom on 272.81 million and China Mobile on 755.17 million.

Neither vendor disclosed the value of their deals.

Ericsson Wins South Korean VoLTE Contract

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Ericsson facing anti-competitive lawsuit in India

Ericsson is facing an investigation from the Indian Competition Commission for breaching the Indian Competition Act

Ericsson is facing an investigation from the Indian Competition Commission for breaching the Indian Competition Act

Swedish infrastructure vendor Ericsson is facing an investigation from the Indian Competition Commission for breaching the Indian Competition Act. Local handset manufacturer Micromax has alleged that the vendor has demanded “unfair, discriminatory and exorbitant royalty” for its patents regarding GSM technology.

According to a filing by the Competition Commission of India, the royalties demanded by Ericsson for its essential GSM patents were excessive compared with royalties charged by other patentees for patents similar or comparable to the patents held by Ericsson.

For its part Ericsson claims to have made numerous demands that Micromax licence its patents on Fair, Reasonable and  Non-Discriminatory Terms (FRAND Terms). With these demands not met, Ericsson said, it launched legal action against the handset vendor in March. Micromax’ complaint to the CCI is part of its “general defense” Ericsson said.

However, according to the filing, no details of the patents infringed by the handset maker were provided by Ericsson. Moreover the filing alleges that Ericsson made its demands only after 16 months’ of requests from Micromax, giving the handset vendor only 25 days to comply.

The document stated: “The allegations made in the information and not refuted by [Ericsson] concerning royalty rates make it clear that the practices adopted by [Ericsson] were discriminatory as well as contrary to FRAND terms.”

Ericsson added that it will fully cooperate with the authority in this investigation to reach a “fair and reasonable” conclusion.

In January last year Ericsson took steps to place more emphasis on protecting its intellectual property. The vendor claims to have the industry’s strongest wireless IPR portfolio with 27,000 granted patents covering a range of technologies, such as wireless access and WLAN. It has already signed more than 90 license agreements with firms in the industry,

It reorganised its Licensing and Patent Development department with the aim of creating a larger revenue stream from its IPR. The vendor said at the time that it was aiming to increase IPR revenues above the SEK 4.6bn ($ 662m) net revenue generated in 2010.

Ericsson and Telefonica first to bring LTE to El Salvador

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