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Video services

Ericsson Invests in IPTV Smarts

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), which has bought its way into the IPTV market in the past year or so, has added to its telco TV assets with the acquisition of specialist consultancy and integrator HyC for an undisclosed sum. (See Ericsson Buys HyC Group.)

The Swedish giant's main leap into IPTV came with the $1.4 billion acquisition of Tandberg Television earlier this year. (See Ericsson Offers $1.4B for Tandberg TV, Ericsson Targets Cable Revenues, Ericsson: Tandberg Is Key to IPTV, and Ericsson Touts IPTV.)

That followed its purchase of IP router vendor Redback Networks Inc. and fiber access equipment firm Entrisphere Inc. , two acquisitions that Ericsson also sees as important to its IPTV ambitions. (See Ericsson Spells Defense G-P-O-N and IPTV Drives Ericsson to Redback.)

Its latest move is, like the Entrisphere purchase, another tiny buy. Spanish firm HyC reported revenues of just €3 million (US$4.3 million) in 2006, and it has about 110 staff, who will join Ericsson's global services division.

HyC provides various strategic and technical consultancy services, including the development of software solutions for interactive TV services and video on demand (VOD), a sector that one of Ericsson's main IPTV rivals, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), also bought into recently. (See AlcaLu Buys IPTV Apps Specialist and AlcaLu 'Ads' to Its TV Program.)

Its customers have included all the main Spanish fixed-line service providers -- Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), ONO , Jazztel plc , and Ya.com (now part of Orange (NYSE: FTE)) -- as well as British cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) (formerly NTL).

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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