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Leading wireless network equipment provider Ericsson (ERIC - Analyst Report) recently announced that it has signed a five-year agreement to renew its alliance with France 24, a Paris-based 24/7 international news channel. The contract entails automating and modernizing the latter’s broadcasting equipments, while also providing training for its employees.

The contract, effective Jan 1, 2014, was signed after a tender processing, and will allow the news channel to meet the increasing challenges of a competitive television market. The financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

The scope of the contract requires Ericsson to provide the news channel with state-of-the-art tools, control rooms and High Definition (HD) technology for its five studios. The company will also be responsible for the successful deployment of these solutions. Ericsson will also continue to provide customized training for the channel’s engineers to ensure their adaptability to the modernized equipments.

Upgrading the infrastructure will allow the channel to leverage its productivity and ensure a high quality service for its audience. France 24 is intending to transform itself into a HD service provider later this year, for which its studios are required to be restructured competently.

The new solutions will guarantee diligent operational execution and a proficient management of the control rooms. The improvised production systems are also expected to lead to a double-digit increase in the channel’s productivity.

Ericsson has been focusing to strengthen its foothold in the broadcasting and media industry. This contract leverages the company’s presence in Europe and France as a provider of managed services in the broadcasting industry. The company has developed its technology to suit the requirements of the broadcasters.

Recently, Ericsson also made a couple of strategic acquisitions: Microsoft Corporation’s TV solution Mediaroom business and a U.K.-based media company, Red Bee Media. These acquisitions were made at an opportune time when the global markets for novel broadcasting technologies like IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) are expected to cater to as many as 105 million subscribers and generate revenues of $45 billion by 2015.

Ericsson currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the wireless equipment sector include Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR - Analyst Report), Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (CMTL - Snapshot Report) and InterDigital Inc. (IDCC - Snapshot Report). While Juniper carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Comtech and InterDigitial hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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