SaskTel of Canada has picked Ericsson’s cloud-based MediaFirst platform to power an “enhanced and expanded” IPTV service that will debut in early 2018.
MediaFirst, a multiscreen platform with personalization features, is being targeted to pay TV and OTT providers, and is the heir apparent to Mediaroom, the IPTV middleware system that Ericsson acquired from Microsoft in 2013.
SaskTel president and CEO Ron Styles noted in the announcement that using MediaFirst will also enable the company to expand its maxTV service to another 100,000 households across 300 communities in rural Saskatchewan.
SaskTel is the latest Canadian service provider to pave its next-gen video path.
Fellow Canadian service provider Telus is among the early adopters of MediaFirst. Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, meanwhile, are pivoting to a multiscreen TV service underpinned by Comcast’s X1 platform. Cogeco has opted for a TiVo-powered platform.
Ericsson’s win at SaskTel comes amid big changes underway that could impact the vendor’s media and cloud hardware businesses.
Earlier this week, Ericsson said it would take charges of up to $2.4 billion this year as it retools its business amid slumping sales and rising competition from companies such as Huawei. Tied in, Ericsson said it will explore “strategic opportunities” for its media and cloud infrastructure hardware businesses, with a sale viewed to be among the strongest possibilities.