CDNs Key To Mobile Ops’ Futures

Mobile operators finally may have a weapon in the battle for over-the-top (OTT) service revenues. According to a report from Strategy Analytics, content delivery networks (CDNs) will become a “significant revenue opportunity” for mobile broadband providers.

The group outlines three ways mobile providers can enhance their bottom lines:
 
>> Multi-screen delivery of video to smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs;
>> Premium content services with differentiated Quality of Service (QoS); and
>> Value-based response to the dominance of OTT content providers.

“The focus on multi-screen video delivery could presage a major operator opportunity for recapturing value from OTT content providers,” comments Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director/Mobile Broadband Opportunities. “CDNs provide paths for mobile operators to be both the ‘best bit pipe’ for blind OTT services and the provider of value added ‘traffic- and service-aware’ CDN services. Both leverage the operator’s substantial network expertise in order to establish a competitive advantage.”

According to Strategy Analytics, the explosion of mobile broadband traffic has begun to refocus the CDN industry around mobile services and has led to the creation of a new platform licensing model from leading CDN technology vendors – Akamai/Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent/Velocix, Edgecast, Jet-stream and Limelight – that are responding to pressure from service providers that like to own and sometimes operate their own CDN platforms. Technology vendors also are offering ‘federation ready’ platforms that have enabled several bi-lateral and vertical market peering relationships.

Adds Sue Rudd, director/Service Provider Analysis, “The mobile CDN market is likely to exhibit a positive ‘network effect’ as additional users join to send and receive high-quality media content. Premium-application and market-focused CDNs could increase network value exponentially.”

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