CDNs: the carrier opportunity

Date: July 23, 2010
Pages: 22
US$ 1,495.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: C22E780DC06EN

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CDNs: the carrier opportunity
Many carriers around the world are eyeing the content delivery network (CDN) market with interest. It promises new revenue opportunities, potential for cost savings and ways to improve the customer experience. But entering the market is risky and can be expensive and difficult. There are good reasons for carriers to enter the market, but they need to fully understand these reasons, and the various strategies available for them to enter the market, while balancing competing priorities.

Executive summary
In a nutshell
Ovum view
Recommendations for carriers
Be clear about your reasons for entering the market
Determine priorities
Work with partners where possible
Integrate CDN services with other content services
Ensure the correct strategy for your carrier type
A competitive and increasingly commoditized market
Two large players dominate but a handful of others round out the market
Level 3
Others are smaller and more locally focused
A philosophical debate about placement of cache servers
Commoditization and a resulting shift to value-added services
Drivers for carrier involvement in CDNs
Various reasons for carriers to enter the market
Reducing network traffic and cost
Seeking a new revenue opportunity
Complementing a larger content services portfolio
Providing a better customer experience
Motivation should be all drivers taken together
Carriers can provide differentiation against CDN providers
All carriers are not created equal
Carrier strategies for market entry
Carriers need to decide their priorities
Risk, investment level, time to market, and need for differentiation are all factors
Reselling CDN services is lowest risk but provides least differentiation
Developing own technology at the opposite end of the spectrum
Licensing or acquiring third-party technology is a middle option
Acquiring players is an opportunity for a few but risky
Migration through the options may make most sense
Integration with broader portfolio may determine strategy
CDN services make most sense as part of a broader portfolio
Interoperability a nascent issue among CDN providers but will grow
Carrier CDN case studies
Deutsche Telekom
Global Crossing
Level 3
Related research


Table 1: Telco advantages and disadvantages in CDN services
Table 2: Carrier CDN market entry strategies and their implications


Figure 1: Carrier options for entering the CDN market
Figure 2: AT&T’s portfolio of content management and delivery services
Figure 3: Global Crossing’s three-phased CDN market approach
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