Intel, Ericsson expand partnership to focus on media industry

The two companies are building on their existing 5G partnership to address challenges across the media value chain.

There's no question that the way people consume media is changing: Network traffic trends show a relentless shift to mobility. The media industry, however, is still grappling with that shift. All parts of the industry, from broadcasters to service providers, are considering how best to produce content and deliver it to an audience expecting on-demand material on a variety of platforms.

That challenge has prompted Intel and Ericsson to build on their existing 5G partnership with an expanded collaborative effort focused on the media industry.

Without disclosing specific investments or terms of the partnership, the two companies announced Thursday at the IBC conference that they're pooling resources and working together to address challenges across the whole media value chain, from content creation to delivery.

"The goal is to accelerate opportunities for media companies through Ericsson's leadership in video processing, mobility and cloud infrastructure, alongside Intel's advancements in compute, storage, and networking technologies," said a blog post penned by Elisabetta Romano, vice president and head of TV and media for Ericsson, and Jim Blakley, general manager of Intel's visual cloud division.

"One of the characteristics about media that makes it particularly challenging," Blakley told ZDNet, "is capacity and the size of video data that needs to be stored and moved around in data centers, and the need to be able to deliver that content to end users without too many delays... particularly in cases of livestreaming when you have to deliver content globally around the world in virtually real time."

Both companies bring expertise to the area of video processing. A year ago, Ericsson announced its acquisition of Envivio, a software-based video processing and delivery solutions company. Meanwhile, Intel's FPGA business has applications like real-time video processing.

The companies are also aiming to transform the media data center. Ericsson's HDS 8000 Hyperscale data center system, built on Intel's Rack Scale Design, allows media companies to take a disaggregated hardware approach. By taking a new approach to data centers, there's opportunity for the media industry to build out cloud infrastructure to handle workloads like media processing and cloud DVR.

Meanwhile, as the two companies continue working on 5G networks, they expect that development to create the bandwidth and low-latency needed for a whole range of new features, like VR and AR content, UHD video and fixed-wireless access to expand last mile reach.

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