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Telco CDNs Make OTT Tolerable

Carol Wilson

Telcos are trying to cope with the flood of OTT video traffic by adding caching to broadband networks and deploying technologies that squeeze the maximum bandwidth from existing copper, according to IMS Research. (See IMS Research: OTT Video Bandwidth up 50%.)

Telcos who are IPTV providers have accepted the fact that OTT is here to stay and will consume an ever-growing portion of broadband bandwidth, says IMS market analyst John Kendall. Those providers are scrambling to find ways to both capture some of the OTT revenue and reduce the cost of carrying all that video, notes Kendall.

According to the IMS Global Bandwidth Utilization Model, bandwidth usage per household will increase by more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2015. The 2010 peak bandwidth utilization was 44 percent of capacity, so that kind of growth threatens substantial congestion, particularly in places like the U.S., where OTT viewing is heavier.

With FTTH not usually an option, telcos are looking to cache more popular content locally, essentially developing their own Content Delivery Networks, says Kendall.

"It can cut the costs they pay to Akamai and Level 3 and other CDNs, and give them more local control over what comes through their networks," Kendall says.

For example, he says, telcos offering IPTV are choosing to push some of their Video-on-Demand content closer to consumers. Larger telcos are also choosing to get into the CDN business, he adds. There is even the possibility of hosting some popular content for delivery to consumers in competition with Netflix or Amazon, although Kendall isn't ready to predict that step just yet.

"A lot of the telcos already own rights to a lot of movies and other content," he says. "The stumbling block becomes digital rights management."

Telcos are also using ITU-T G.vector standard (G.993.5) to reduce crosstalk in bonded copper pairs and thus improve the throughput. Kendall says IMS's discussions with telcos worldwide show they are hitting speeds of 8Mbit/s with ADSL, 25Mbits/s with ADSL2+ and 28Mbits/s with VDSL, although speeds vary with loop lengths. ADSL remains the most popular option for delivering IPTV globally, particularly in places such as France, where loop lengths are shorter than in the U.S.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:58:46 PM
re: Telco CDNs Make OTT Tolerable

"8Mbit/s with ADSL, 25Mbits/s with ADSL2+ and 28Mbits/s with VDSL"

Well, it is harder to comment on VDSL (by which I actually think they mean VDSL2) because there are multiple profiles with different capabilities.  But other than that, the speeds stated here are the baseline specification speeds and anybody that wanted to pass the UNH test suite had to hit those anyway.  And that is without DSM or G.Vector or anything else.

We were deploying 10Mb/s over .bis way back in 02/03 with the IOCs to deliver video (2 streams of SD).


User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:58:45 PM
re: Telco CDNs Make OTT Tolerable

Along with CDN standards, the industry needs better understanding around what CDNs are and are not.

CDNs are more than caching systems.  And if CDNs are intended to make OTT tolerable, then CDNs for brining VoD closer to consumers won't alleviate that problem.

While CDNs offer real benefits to operators, realizing them will be a challenge without clearer definitions.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:58:44 PM
re: Telco CDNs Make OTT Tolerable

I agree there is more to CDNs than caching. I would also agree that CDN functionatlity probably needs to be defined.

ATIS is already jumping into this process and produced its first results in record time: http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=209394

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:58:38 PM
re: Telco CDNs Make OTT Tolerable

Telco CDNs have the potential to make OTT more than just tolerable.  If they do it right, telcos can profit handsomely from OTT traffic.  

Here's how they can do it:  How Telcos & ISPs can learn to love OTT





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