In Depth: Ericsson has an ambitious plan to save traditional cable providers


Imagine a world where every linear television channel that matters agrees to sell its content directly via an app. HBO already does, and a slew of others are effectively doing the same through the Sling TV service. Now, imagine all of those programs being searchable, mineable, and sortable using a well-regarded interface on Apple TV and Roku’s assortment of streaming products.

In a world where our internet connections are all solid enough to handle IP-delivered content, that’s a recipe for disaster if you’re a traditional telco or cable provider.

Now, imagine a world where the aforesaid cable provider gets its design in order and beats those apps to the punch. That’s the dream that Ericsson is hoping to enable, and by every measure, the race against time is most definitely on.

A timely addition

Ericsson MediaFirst TV Demo

You may not link a name like Ericsson with the saving of cable, but the company best known for connecting billions of mobile lines the world over has invested heavily in TV and media over the past decade. For an organization founded some 140 years ago, its decision to dive into media seems awfully nimble (and equally wise).

I recently spent a week in the United Kingdom, peeking into the company’s Southampton Experience Center as well as its Broadcast Center in central London. What I found largely didn’t exist a decade ago, but could very well be the concoction that prevents what many view as the inevitable upending of television.