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World CDN Market

CDN market value will reach 4.7bn EUR in 2015
Telco CDN

During the upcoming CDN World Summit in London Vincent Bonneau - lead Internet analyst at the IDATE – will intervene as a speaker on the topic "Mobile CDN". Besides, IDATE ensures an ongoing research on CDN related topics and publishes regularly in-depth market reports as "Online Video", "Telco CDN" and many more. Below some key findings and figures relative to the world CDN market.

Telco CDN versus Global CDN

Delivering online video based upon current delivery architectures with the necessary scale and/or QoS will most likely become challenging, especially for the so-called ‘CDN last mile’. Today, the delivery of content from the last CDN node to the end-user is done over ‘best effort” only. With the expected increase in (mainly video) traffic and associated bit rates, there is a clear interest in extending the current ‘Global CDNs’, deployed within backbones and at the edge of core networks, with ‘telco CDNs’, deployed in access networks closer to end-users, to offer quality content delivery to end-users.

Telco CDNs still represent some major challenges, especially in terms of business models (which price, especially vis à vis traditional CDNs) and in terms of operational performance, especially in the case of CDN interconnection. To offer the appropriate QoS, interconnecting CDNs of traditional providers, telcos and content providers could be a good approach to solve some of the issues for QoS, whereby traditional Global CDNs would provide efficient global distribution and telco CDNs take care of efficient local delivery to end-users. Some basic form of interconnection is already offered with CDN brokering, targeting small content providers that cannot really implement multi-CDN strategies on their own in the same way that large content providers do. Any content Internetworking architecture or mechanism should take into account this complementarity of scope and the somewhat hierarchical relation between both types of CDNs. Interconnection could also occur directly between telco CDNs to offer one-stop shopping solutions. Many initiatives are developing, including a few ones within standardisation bodies. The CDN interconnection is also challenging technically with standardised interfaces to be defined between all involved players to manage data and metadata.
We expect telco CDN to develop progressively and become a real competitor to global CDN for some of the premium video content (and thus only a part of the OTT market), thanks to better QoS. This could be especially the case outside USA (as in Europe), as most global CDNs have limited capillarity network outside USA and often offer low QoS for local customers compared to local providers. The impact will be really significant only by 2014/2015.

Hybrid architectures

CDN will develop not only for OTT, but also for managed services, allowing for mutualised spending through hybrid architectures. This will accelerate the development of telco CDN solutions, as a telco will have direct incentives to improve their distribution for their own contents – Comcast is a case in point.
On-net and off-net services co-exist and partly converge, with some gateways between the two solutions. There are still some differences in terms of last-mile access. With these architectures, whereas current CDN solutions being researched stop at the POP, potential solutions would in the future be end-to-end managed CDN solutions, up to STB.

CDN versus Cloud

Global CDN are expected to limit their commercial efforts on OTT video to targeting such other more attractive markets as e-commerce and professional software services (SaaS). A few players are indeed specialising on non-video traffic (Cotendo, Edgecast), whereas large providers such as Akamai and Limelight are now offering cloud computing solutions, following the footsteps of Amazon and other players which came first from cloud computing before entering the CDN market.
There is no doubt that the Cloud represents a very interesting market for CDN players which can leverage their infrastructure of datacentres to provide similar services to markets with better monetisation schemes and expectations in terms of QoS/speed/acceleration.
The Cloud is also key in fact for consumer video, as a potential for multi-screen delivery. CDN can indeed be seen as some form of cloud computing with a virtual infrastructure to scale on any IP network through a single source for content acquisition, Storage and/or transcoding virtualised and aggregation/linkage in the core for content management and metadata management. There would be then some dynamic adaptation of contents to the various devices and subscribers rights, which could be done very deep into the network on-the-fly, and which be easier to implement with adaptive streaming with multi-protocol management.

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Director of the Internet Business Unit



Director of the Innovation Business unit
P: +33 (0)467 144 453


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