Ericsson established a beachhead for expansion in the Middle East by agreeing to purchase the playout business of Abu Dhabi-based twofour54, the media arm of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, for an undisclosed amount.
The Sweden-based infrastructure provider said the acquisition immediately opens the door to nine different channels currently available on twofour54, and will act as a springboard for Ericsson's broader expansion plans for the Middle East region using Abu Dhabi as its base.
twofour54 is the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, a media and entertainment hub that aims to nurture the development of creative industries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by providing financial support, access to a 'creativity' lab, and training and networking opportunities to young entrepreneurs.
Ericsson agreed the acquisition as part of a long term partnership with the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi that will see the infrastructure company establish a media hub in the country to serve customers throughout the Middle East region. The hub will also be used to promote Ericsson's services, including content management, over the top (OTT), content discovery, metadata, creative and access services.
In a company statement, Thorsten Sauer, head of broadcast and media services at Ericsson, said that the Middle East "is an exciting, high-growth region with a strong local and international broadcaster base," and that Ericsson is helping broadcasters to handle the "convergence between IT, media and telecoms" and the "fierce competition that exists in the rapidly changing TV market."
Sauer added that the twofour54 deal is "an important milestone in our ambition to provide industry-leading media services in this dynamic region."
Ericsson and twofour54 will offer young Emirati nationals internships, training courses, and access to employment opportunities.
Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, said the deal with Ericsson "is another step towards achieving our goal of being the region's leading developer of a sustainable, private sector led media industry."
- view Ericsson's statement
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