Advanced Television

Ericsson, twofour54 boost Middle East playout

February 2, 2015

By Colin Mann

Communication technology specialist Ericsson has strengthened its partnership with twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi, through the acquisition of its current playout business, initially providing playout services for nine different channels.

The agreement, which comes as part of a long-term partnership, recognises the important role of the private sector in supporting twofour54 in building Abu Dhabi’s media industry ecosystem. For Ericsson, the acquisition provides an ideal springboard for its expansion into the region from its base in Abu Dhabi.

As part of this partnership, Ericsson will establish a media hub in Abu Dhabi to serve clients across the Middle East region and beyond. The hub will provide playout services and act as the local base to eventually leverage Ericsson’s leading portfolio of services in content management, over-the-top (OTT), content discovery, metadata, creative and access services.

Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, said twofour54 was committed to the growth of the media industry across the MENA region. “This long-term partnership with Ericsson is another step towards achieving our goal of being the region’s leading developer of a sustainable, private sector led media industry,” he added.

Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services at Ericsson, described the Middle East as “an exciting, high-growth region” with a strong local and international broadcaster base. “As the TV industry is witnessing a massive transformation in light of the convergence between IT, media and telecoms, Ericsson is helping broadcasters to overcome the challenges of this transformation and the fierce competition that exists in the rapidly changing TV market. The partnership with twofour54 is an important milestone in our ambition to provide industry-leading media services in this dynamic region,” he stated.

Ericsson will work closely with twofour54 to develop media services in Abu Dhabi and nurture the development of media professionals in the region. Young Emirati nationals will be encouraged to undertake internships, participate in training courses and will also have access to employment opportunities. This will also give them exposure to the media industry’s fast growing private sector.

Ericsson has a significant heritage in the global TV and media market and pioneered the video compression technologies that are driving the worldwide digitalisation of TV and enabling new viewing experiences such as HDTV, TV Anywhere and UHDTV. Ericsson’s strategy in TV and media is to help content owners, broadcasters and TV service providers evolve to meet consumer demand for video experiences on any device, anytime, anywhere.

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