SAN FRANCISCO — Verizon Communications will purchase the assets of Intel Media, a division dedicated to the development of cloud-based TV products and services, Verizon and Intel officials announced Jan. 21. The price was not disclosed.
The transaction, expected to close in April, would accelerate the availability of next-generation video services, both integrated with Verizon FiOS fiber-optic networks and delivered "over the top" to any device, the companies said in a press release.
"Earlier this year, when our new leadership team took over the company, Intel refocused its priorities around the company's broad computing portfolio," an Intel spokeswoman told us. "We believe that this transaction will allow Intel to focus our resources on growth objectives of datacenters, Internet of Things, [and] a range of mobile devices."
Verizon will purchase intellectual property rights and other assets that for Intel's OnCue TV platform. Verizon aims to integrate IP-based TV services with FiOS video to reduce deployment costs. Customers will see "elegant search and discovery, interactivity and cross-screen ease of use -- integrated with the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network," the release said.
"This transaction provides us with the capabilities to build a powerful, capitally efficient engine for future growth and innovation," Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO of Verizon, said in the release.
Jon Peddie, president of the consulting firm Jon Peddie Research, told us prototypes of the OnCue platform were "nothing short of spectacular." The first- and second-round protypes featured the ability to change channels quickly, and the set top boxes "remember stuff you had seen and where you had been." The box may be able to more to 4K or 8K resolutions. Peddie expects a product announcement to be made this fall.
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said during an earnings call Tuesday: "With the acquisition of Verizon Wireless... we also plan to take that platform and integrate it more deeply with our Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. So that really was the strategy behind this." Verizon recently made two acquisitions related to the set top platform -- EdgeCast, a leader in content delivery networks, and UpLynk, which piloted technology to streamline the process of uploading and encoding of video for live, linear and video-on-demand content.
Verizon plans to make employment offers to all of the Intel division's approximately 350 employees, who would continue to be based in Santa Clara and be led by its current management team.
— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times