Ericsson, Telstra, 21st Century Fox launch media content delivery solution

Ericsson will deliver 21st Century Fox movie content to Telstra consumers' devices without loss of network quality or data usage, with the solution to be piloted over the next month.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Telstra, Ericsson, and 21st Century Fox's Fox Innovation Lab have announced a media content-delivery solution aimed at sending personalised movie content to consumers' devices without impacting device performance or data plans by multi-casting it during off-peak times.

The content delivery solution, unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on Monday, will run as a pilot program for the next month for select Telstra, Fox, and Ericsson customers through a trial app.

It will alert consumers when movies matching their pre-disclosed interests are available, with the 1080p media content then being sent to their devices for purchase or rent and viewing both online and offline.

"Essentially, what is happening is we are able to preload and precondition content on a customer's device so that actually, it's available for them when they want to watch it and when they want to see it, whether it's online or offline," said Telstra CEO Andrew Penn.

"And we can actually do that by multi-casting the content, and we can multi-cast the content at a time when the network is not in significant use, so maybe in the middle of the night."

The "highly secure" end-to-end solution makes use of Ericsson's cloud-based MediaFirst store for processing and origin of the content; Ericsson's Unified Delivery Network for global content delivery; and Ericsson's MediaFirst TV platform for personalisation of the content.

It also allows 21st Century Fox "full control of the quality" of the content all the way to consumers' devices, as well as such intellectual property protections as watermarks.

According to Penn, the solution was designed in response to the increasing uptake of consumers watching entertainment on their smartphones, with Telstra providing its LTE-broadcast (LTE-B) and global media network capabilities for the solution.

"Running this pilot in collaboration with innovative partners is a great way for us to test and learn how we can improve the customer experience while at the same time achieving network efficiencies," Penn said.

"The solution will use Telstra's Media Optimised Network, including LTE-B capability, to pre-position content, and therefore have limited impact on overall network traffic with little to no additional infrastructure cost."

Telstra said it is hoping the solution will improve average revenue per user (ARPU), as well as being a differentiator for its offerings.

Telstra in September announced that it would be launching a system for broadcasters to deliver both live and file-based media content worldwide with its Global Media Network, utilising its extensive network resources and infrastructure.

Telstra Global Media Network -- which relies on the telecommunications provider's global submarine fibre cable network, four teleports, 40 satellites, and broadcast operations in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the United States -- launched internationally early this year.

"The rapid growth of video-on-demand consumption, particularly in Asia, has triggered a surge in demand for content ... the Telstra Global Media Network was built to empower our customers to swiftly and smartly grasp the incredible opportunity at hand with the rise of demand for content," Trevor Boal, head of Telstra Broadcast Services, said last year.

"With the Telstra Global Media Network, customers can easily book services online and choose the level of support they need, from self-service to dedicated 24/7 monitoring provided by our dedicated Broadcast Operations Centres in Sydney and master control rooms in Hong Kong, London, New York, and Los Angeles."

In order to ensure continued network reliability, Boal said Telstra planned its Global Media Network with a "geographically diverse dual path ring" ensuring that data traffic is automatically diverted when there are network disruptions.

Telstra last year also showcased its fully operational Broadcast Operations Centre (BOC) in Sydney, which manages over 400 video, audio, and data services. It provides broadcasters with content-transfer solutions via its fibre, satellite, and IP networks as part of the Telstra Broadcast Services (TBS) business.

"We are very, very strong in the operational technology; we're working very closely with broadcasters around delivery of content, and one of our flagship offerings is our digital video network," Boal said at the time.

"Most of the broadcasters and content owners in Australia are our customers. There's a very vast and expanding network connecting studios, production facilities, and increasingly now venues, so for example taking sporting content, or stadium content, back to production facilities, studio facilities, for broadcast."

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