Haivision buys Aviwest for $22.5M, adding low latency 5G video chops for live broadcasts

Haivision Systems has acquired Aviwest, with an aim of bringing low latency mobile video, including 5G, for live events into its pool of expertise.

Haivision completed the approximately EUR 20.5 million ($22.5 million) deal for France-based Aviwest, first announced in February. Founded in 2008, Aviwest is a provider of mobile IP-based video contribution systems and is focused on transmission of live video over cellular networks.

In 2021, Aviewest had approximate revenues of EUR 10.5 million.

When first announcing the deal, Haivision touted bringing the wired and wireless portfolios together for low latency broadcast video networks – with Haivision as a leading vendor on the wired side, and Aviwest on the wireless.

By absorbing Aviwest, Haivision can now offer customers a complementary, comprehensive video contribution solutions portfolio including 5G transmission, mobile video contribution and network bonding technology. It’s looking to capitalize on demand for live, high-quality video content in broadcast, sports and live event production.

"The Aviwest acquisition is a defining milestone for Haivision and we are excited to add Aviwest's impressive technology and deep domain expertise to Haivision's product portfolio, helping us further deliver on our goal of developing innovative solutions to better serve our customers," said Mirko Wicha, Haivision president and CEO, in a statement. "We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Aviwest to the Haivision family. With complementary technology and a shared vision, we are uniquely positioned to shape the future of video contribution."

Haivision said the acquisition will allow it to significantly expand Aviwest’s sales presence into the North American Market and extend its 5G and network bonding technology into the growing government and public safety markets.

Headquartered in Rennes, France, Aviwest has global field operations and more than 70 employees. The deal allows Haivision to expand its global workforce to over 400 employees, and establish the company’s second largest development facility in France.

Aviwest counts a number of firsts for video innovation including portable cellular video transmission; live video transmission over a 4G network implementing Quality of Service, and live 4K video over a 5G network. Aviwest also has two Emmy awards under its belt for SST (Safe Streams Transport) networking technology protocol for reliable video transmission over bonded networks.

According to Haivision, Aviwest’s products are used extensively to support major international sporting events and hundreds of top broadcasters, TV stations and production houses globally use Aviwest tech in day-to-day coverage of sporting and other live events.

“Together with Haivision, our solutions will bring customers maximum live video flexibility with ultra-low latency, highly reliable network connectivity, and pristine video quality,” said Ronan Poullaouec, CTO and co-founder of Aviwest, when the deal was first announced. “With sub-200ms glass-to-glass latency over 5G networks, our solutions are revolutionizing remote production workflows by giving broadcasters more options for contributing real-time content for premium live events and sports coverage.”

Video over cellular for live sports

It's most recent work, announced Monday, Aviwest provided bonded cellular transmitters and StreamHub transceivers to support a live broadcast of the 2022 Pro Cycling Race for Oman TV. 

National broadcaster Oman TV offered sports fans on-land and aerial coverage of the competition, equipping motorbikes, shoulder cameras and drones with Aviwest transmitters, deployed in more than 13 locations, to deliver low end-to-end latency over 3G/4G cellular networks. The broadcaster used the Aviwest transceiver platform located in the Oman TV control room, to receive and decode the live feed and distribute footage over IP networks to affiliates and other international broadcasters.

As the Covid-19 pandemic hit many sports events were canceled or postponed, and as many resumed in 2021, Aviwest pointed out that the industry saw a significant increase in remote live production – something it believes broadcasters will continue to rely on. Part of the aim for Haivision in acquiring Aviwest is to provide a low latency synchronized stream delivery to address the needs of remote production and cloud production workflows.

And bringing 5G into the mix to transmit video, with not only HD but higher Ultra HD resolution, with live sports streaming via cellular is something Aviwest has been working with operator Orange on. In December the company noted it was relying on the Orange 5G Lab teams in Rennes for the final stages of developing a 5G solution that could be adopted for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Orange had previously invested in the startup through one of its investment funds.  

U.S. carriers such as Verizon are looking to 5G for enhanced video experiences like multi-view during the 2022 Super Bowl, which gave fans the ability to see seven different camera angles all at once in the NFL Ticketholder app.

As for Haivision, it’s been a leader in low latency broadcast over wired networks, with an award winning open source SRT (secure reliable transport) low latency video streaming protocol, and founding the SRT Alliance to support adoption.

The Aviwest acquisition follows earlier purchases to bolster Haivision’s video technology portfolio, including Teltoo in 2020. Teltoo provides peer-to-peer and WebRTC-enabled video delivery.