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Nokia joins Ericsson in bailing out of video

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Diversification seems to be out of fashion as Nokia announces the sale of most of its IP video business to Canadian private equity group Volaris.

The resulting company will be called Velocix, which takes its name not from a member of Asterix’s village, but instead a content delivery specialist acquired by Alcatel-Lucent back in 2009. There is no indication it will launch new products with names like Getafix, Legobrix or Picnix, which is a shame.

“We are excited to be part of the new company under the Velocix brand that set out to transform the video landscape back in 2002,” said Paul Larbey, head of the IP Video Business at Nokia. “Through several acquisitions the name changed, but the purpose remains the same: to enable big changes in the video market, to make video more personal and to enable a highly compelling entertainment experience for consumers on every screen.”

“Video plays a very important role in our customers’ strategies, both as it relates to their services and the demands it places on their networks,” said Basil Alwan, Co-President of IP/Optical Networks at Nokia. “Meanwhile, the technology behind video – including user experience, content packaging and delivery – continues to go through meaningful shifts. Our new partnership enables us to adapt and grow in this important period; together we can better navigate change while providing continuity for our customers.”

If the opportunity and products are so great then that begs the question of why Nokia is effectively throwing in the towel. The likely answer is similar to the reason Ericsson has been so keen to bail out of video: an admission that they’re not very good at it and have decided to focus on the day job. You can read further analysis of this move from Light Reading here.

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