Consumer demand for high-quality multimedia entertainment on television, personal computers and mobile devices is having a profound impact on existing network infrastructures and business models.
Further, the type and volume of traffic on mobile networks is changing, and users’ expectations are growing. In fact, it is clear that the future of wireless networks in particular will be all about deploying content delivery network capabilities that ensure newer and better performing broadband services that provide higher quality of experiences (QoE) to the exploding population of mobile devices.
According to Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert), content providers want guaranteed delivery to the end user which only telecoms operators can supply. While this is presents challenges it also represents substantial and important opportunity. By deploying a content delivery network (CDN), operators can generate new revenues and increase quality of service (QoS). This also yields a new business model and by enabling new ways for telecom service providers to engage a broad range of third parties.
Focused on satisfying their customers with quality experiences, rather than pay middlemen who cannot guarantee delivery beyond a certain point in the network, content providers would be best to deal with the entities that can ensure their content passes over the last mile with a guaranteed QoS.
Alcatel-Lucent cites three reasons the time is right for service providers to consider deploying a CDN:
- To start managing and taking ownership of the video traffic that is becoming a challenge on today’s networks
- To be able to differentiate a service offer as the only link in the chain that can guarantee content delivery because of control over the last mile to the end user
- To tap into the revenue opportunity offered by retailing content services to subscribers or from associated advertising
However, for mobile operators in particular, there is greater infrastructure challenge in terms of deploying a CDN. Today’s standards do not allow access to a pure IP stream except at the center of the network. Operators have to consider how they manage the content at the edge in a cost-effective manner, as each cache will serve a different profile of users and a single rule does not work for all locations.
Different markets bear different challenges in terms of content demand. In high-growth economies, providing access to wireless networks presents challenges with a focus is on providing basic services to the widest possible audience. Once access is established, the challenge is to keep pace with demand for better services, including broadband and things like HD quality streamed and real-time video conferencing video for nomadic devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TMCnet, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Peter Bernstein