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Indian telcos eyeing CDN space

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Deepa
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BANGALORE, INDIA: With 3G spectrum ironing its way in, Indian telecos are more than ever cashing in on content delivery network (CDN) services market, which is amounted to be of Rs.1, 163 crore by 2010.

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Indian content providers are looking for next-generation CDN platform, which can deliver high quality video, fast file download and live video broadcast to cope with the demanding growth.

Recently, Reliance Globalcom, a unit of Reliance Communications, has also tied up with Internap Network Services Corporation, a provider of end-to-end Internet business solutions.

Similarly, Tata Communications, a provider of new world of communications, joined hands with BitGravity, Inc., a next-generation CDN for interactive broadcasting.

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Tata Comms makes a dent in CDN space

Tata Communications, which announced a strategic partnership with BitGravity in March 2008, has also invested $11.5 million in convertible debt in BitGravity, to give a boost to the former’s value-added services offering.

Tata Communications has one of the largest Global IP networks and this is a logical move for us to enter into the CDN market. With more than 300 points of presence worldwide, Tata Communications now offers the first truly global CDN service on a state-of-the-art, single ASN global IP network throughout Europe, Asia, North America and India.

Hon Kit Lam, director-IP Product Development, Global IP & VPN Services, Tata Communications, said: “Tata Communications wants to grow its actual portfolio of services by adding higher value managed services, in order to fulfill the evolving needs of its customers. CDN is a service that complements well our actual IP services portfolio. This is a major milestone in our strategic initiative to offer unparalleled managed services globally.”

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Indian scenario

“The market for CDN in India consists largely of portals and media websites serving media content. Growing numbers of end-users in India are using applications like Video on Demand, Live Broadcast, e-Learning, social networking applications, mass software and gaming applications distribution,” Lam noted.

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India, irrespective of the fact that has the fastest growing mobile subscriber base, with about 296.08 million, with an year-on-year growth of 53.44 percent, lacks in Internet penetration, which stands at only a mere 25 percent.

“India is one of the fastest growing regions for the Internet. Tata Communications, along with other telecom players in the Indian market, is investing heavily in WiMAX and other access infrastructure, to bring broadband to the masses. Although the number of mobile subscribers growth significantly in India, many broadband players are also investing into the wireless broadband technologies (WiMAX) and this will further accelerate the growth of broadband subscribers in India.

“This provides Tata Communications CDN service (powered by BitGravity) an early mover advantage to serve one of the fastest growing broadband markets, requires large application download, high quality video-on-demand, User-Generated-Content delivery and LiveBroadcast. The acceleration of content via our CDN offering will help increase the adoption of broadband in the country,” Lam said.

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Product portfolio

Tata Communications' suite of offerings include Tata Communications CDN, a next-generation CDN designed for a wide range of applications providing the highest performance and reliability on a global scale; Tata Communications CDN Plus and CDN Secure, add value designed for the distribution and protection of media assets; and Tata Communications LiveBroadcast, a high quality, flash-based streaming service for broadcasters of live events.

Tata Communications’ next-generation CDN service, powered by BitGravity’s technology, delivers the highest performance and reliability in the industry while providing immediate access to content, including High-Definition Video, without delay or jitter, and the highest levels of throughput for end users. Fast forwarding, cache clearing, resolution switching and rate throttling are just a few of the features that enable customers to build a robust and engaging application into a Flash Player.

Road ahead

While the increasing growth of content over the Internet fuels the demand for CDN solutions, it is not without its share of challenges. The all-round emphasis on quality, security as well delivery of large-sized content; and a gradual move towards convergence in delivery of content will lay pressure on CDN vendors to strike a fine balance between technical issues and seamless delivery.

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“The take-up rate and penetration of broadband is a major challenge in India. We have seen that the adoption of Internet content by end users has grown pretty rapidly. The acceleration of content via our CDN offering will help increase the adoption of broadband in the country,” Hon Kit Lam signs off.

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