UTStarcom takes stake in cloud TV provider aioTV

Michelle Clancy | 15-11-2012

UTStarcom has taken a minority stake in aioTV, a cloud-based video aggregation and distribution platform in a deal which gives UTStarcom access to technology that will bolster its rollout of subscription-based media services, while giving aioTV a foothold in emerging markets in Asia.

A US-based company, aioTV has developed a middleware platform that combines conditional access and content management tools for network operators to aggregate multiple sources of content into a consistent TV-like experience across connected devices. The technology locates and aggregates Internet and licensed video content metadata to deliver a common experience and content to any connected device that supports an HTML5 environment.

UTStarcom will look for opportunities to offer aioTV's technology in Asia where it has relationships with regional cable service providers and broadcasters. The aioTV platform will allow these operators to package and control a mixture of web content, licensed linear and video-on-demand (VOD) content into a consistent video experience that runs across connected devices in any language and on any broadband network. In the long-term, UTStarcom will also look for opportunities to jointly develop new service offerings with aioTV in collaboration with the company's other strategic partners, such as iTV Media.

"We view aioTV as a key strategic investment and expect that it will help us realise our vision of becoming a leader in providing next generation media services," said William Wong, UTStarcom s CEO. "This is exactly the type of company we want to partner with as we seek to provide a highly personalised entertainment experience that is available on the devices that customers are increasingly embedding into their lifestyle."

"We see emerging markets as some of the most eager adopters of next generation Internet-delivered video services," said Michael Earle, CEO of aioTV. "This strategic investment from UTStarcom gives us the platform to meet the shift in global video consumption and will accelerate our ability to deploy our technology in some of the fastest growing markets in Asia."

The transaction gives UTStarcom a 44% stake in aioTV and makes it the largest single shareholder in the company. In addition, UTStarcom will acquire seats on aioTV's board of directors.