• Ericsson signs a new five-year frame agreement with Australia's national broadcaster, the ABC
  • Hundreds of thousands of rural Australians to get digital free-to-air TV thanks to Ericsson's latest satellite video compression technology
  • Solution aids a government drive to switch from analog to digital free-to-air TV and provides a high-quality, richer digital TV choice for all Australians

Hundreds of thousands of Australians living in rural communities are currently unable to access the same free-to-air, high-quality, digital TV experience as their urban counterparts. A new five-year deal between Australia's national broadcaster, the ABC, and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) will help address this issue. Thanks to Ericsson's latest satellite video compression technology, the ABC will be able to expand the reach of its high-definition and standard-definition digital TV programming across the country.

As Australia undergoes the switch from analog to digital free-to-air TV, the Australian government is funding a new satellite service to provide digital television to viewers in remote areas where free-to-air digital TV can't be received by TV antennas. About 247,000 Australian households in these "digital black spots" will benefit from the initiative.

Sam Saba, head of Ericsson Australia & New Zealand, says: "According to a recent study, all Australian households watch free-to-air TV and spend almost three hours a day watching it on average. Since this service is central in the life of Australians, we value being part of digitalizing it and ensuring that all Australians can enjoy a rich, high-quality television experience."

The system uses a range of Ericsson head-end equipment including bandwidth-saving MPEG-4 AVC EN8190 HD and EN8130 SD encoders, Reflex statistical multiplexing for channel bitrate allocation and management, and nCompass Control and Monitoring. Managing bandwidth and maintaining high-quality pictures is critical in such a major digital TV rollout. Deployment of the technology will start in by the end of October 2010. 

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Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the "prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 80,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 206.5 billion (USD 27.1 billion) in 2009. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on OMX NASDAQ, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.   



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