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Smart Dubai, an initiative anchored in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to make Dubai the happiest and smartest city on earth. The organization's visionary leader, Her Excellency Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, spoke to Telecom Review about the importance of embracing digital practices and data sharing.

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Ericsson has been selected by SaskTel, the leading Information and Communications Technology provider in Saskatchewan, Canada, to power its next generation IPTV service.

SaskTel will start to implement the Ericsson MediaFirst solution suite this year, with plans to commercially launch its enhanced and expanded IPTV service in Saskatchewan in early 2018.

Ericsson MediaFirst will offer SaskTel subscribers a raft of new features over a new Pay TV in-home and TV everywhere product. Many of these new features -including a highly personalized interface across all screens and the ability to watch live TV and access content on demand on any device - will also be made available to existing maxTV subscribers.

Ron Styles, President and CEO at SaskTel, says: "The implementation of Ericsson MediaFirst will position SaskTel at the leading edge of TV innovation and will afford us the flexibility to evolve maxTV as our customer's preferences and habits change over time. In addition, by 2018/19 this platform will allow SaskTel to expand our maxTV service to approximately 100,000 new households spread across more than 300 communities throughout rural Saskatchewan."

Elisabetta Romano, Vice President and Head of Media Solutions at Ericsson, says: "Ericsson MediaFirst will enable SaskTel to deliver a cutting-edge Pay TV service. The ability to innovate at web speed and leverage the MediaFirst ecosystem will help SaskTel deliver breakthrough consumer experiences across all devices and in the home. This agreement is a further step forward in our strong partnership with SaskTel."

Ericsson's end-to-end MediaFirst solution suite includes Ericsson MediaFirst TV Platform, Video Processing, Video Delivery and Video Storage and Processing Platform (VSPP).

Ericsson MediaFirst TV Platform is a software-defined, media-optimized cloud-based TV platform. MediaFirst TV Platform provides a converged multiscreen experience including Pay TV in-home, TV Everywhere and OTT services. It embraces all content sources and delivery networks.

The platform provides advanced analytics tools which enable operators to target relevant content and promotions to viewers, increasing revenue opportunities and reducing churn.

Underpinned by Ericsson's DevOps approach, MediaFirst TV Platform offers flexibility, scalability and agility to adapt to consumers' constantly evolving behaviors and needs.