UK-based telecommunications giant Vodafone is poised to deliver an enhanced streaming experience for customers residing in Europe and Africa. The company has initiated a collaboration with Cisco and Qwilt. These partners provide an edge-based content delivery network (CDN) solution, facilitating Vodafone’s ability to cache video content and applications at a level closer to its end-users. Consequently, services become more responsive and agile. Content owners and application developers also enjoy the advantages of high-quality accessibility to countless fixed and mobile broadband customers.
The said solution is a fusion of Qwilt’s Open Edge platform and Cisco’s edge infrastructure. An attractive facet of the project is that it is a service provision, ensuring that Vodafone’s capital expenditure remains uninterrupted. This innovation is founded on the Streaming Video Technology Alliance (SVTA)’s Open Caching Standard. The standard aims to simplify the management of CDN by converging multiple content caches into one large entity.
Qwilt and Cisco are no strangers to collaborative efforts focussed on edge-based content delivery, having maintained a relationship for several years. The partnership has been slowly gaining momentum. Qwilt’s foundation by ex-employees of Cisco and Juniper is one reason for this. Additionally, Cisco Investments has an equity share in Qwilt.
Following a successful implementation trial in Italy, Vodafone plans to launch the service in seven countries across Europe and Africa. Expansion is anticipated as both Qwilt and Cisco persist in their partnerships with other operators, stimulating the construction of what could eventually become the largest federated CDN globally.
The Qwilt CEO, Alon Maor, articulated on Tuesday that, “By harnessing the power of Open Caching, Vodafone is using its capabilities and position as a significant network operator to take an active role in effective content delivery, and to expand opportunities to monetise this value chain while enabling the next generation of content experiences across its markets.” He further emphasized the significant expansion of their global edge delivery network, bringing them closer to reaching all consumers globally with high-quality digital experiences.
CDNs have been prevalent for a while. However, with the continuous ascend in video’s IP traffic share, their relevance is undisputed. A report by network management specialist Sandvine revealed a 24% increase in online video usage in the past year, accounting for 65% of all internet traffic. The top four traffic generators of downstream data are video apps: Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, and TikTok.
Sandvine contends that video is no longer merely a standalone category. It has become integral to virtually all online applications, including social networking, gaming, collaboration, and conferencing. Consequently, network operators like Vodafone feel the pressure to offer the best possible video experience to their customers, making CDNs vital.
Nadia Benabdallah, network strategy and engineering director, Vodafone Technology, commented on their strategy of being one of the strongest market players and setting higher industry standards for customers. She also expressed excitement over starting a new phase that enhances the quality of service, decreases the cost of gigabits carried, and opens new opportunities for business growth.