Multi-national telecoms and networking company Ericsson announced recently that it is bringing 80 broadband service providers worldwide into its unified delivery network (UDN) platform partnership, introducing what it describes as a shared CDN. The investment is critical to the company’s goals for scaling the Internet for the expected growth in video streaming over the next four years.
Ericsson forecasts that 75% of traffic in mobile networks will be video by 2022. Video already accounts for around 50% of all mobile traffic. In Q4 2017, Ericsson found that mobile data traffic grew around 55% year-on-year, which was lower than the previous four quarters, which hovered between 65-70%. Nonetheless, overall mobile broadband subscriptions grew by 200 million in 2017’s final quarter and global mobile penetration was 103%.
The continued growth of the mobile market, along with the expected continued uptick in video streaming on mobile devices, will require service providers to offer greater capacity and functionality as video from traditional pay-TV networks moves over to streaming services. Furthermore, new video technologies such as VR, AR and multi-camera user experiences look set to increase in scale; which will also heighten the need for higher speed, low latency edge networks.
Ericsson says that the shared CDN it is offering service providers provides the advantages of a private CDN technology, but doesn’t come with the heightened operational costs and upfront software outlay of setting up a traditional CDN. Service providers don’t need to allocate resources for global or operator CDN integration and troubleshooting; however, they will be able to “reliably deliver and monetize this potential by deploying caches at the edge of their network, closer to end consumers”.
Ericsson says that about 60-80% of video content can be cached locally by CDNs. By having access to distributed cloud architectures that combine compute and storage in their network, service providers can deploy CDN functionality deep within their networks, meaning that they can more efficiently manage traffic demand. The introduction of the Shared CDN service into Ericsson’s UDN platform also allows service providers to participate in the revenue flow connected to delivery of video and other high capacity services to Ericsson’s UDN Content Provider customers.
Marcus Bergstrom, Vice President and General Manager of UDN, Ericsson, says: “We’ve invested directly in the UDN platform in partnership with mobile and fixed broadband service providers and our network is live and carrying traffic all over the world. We will continue to listen carefully to our partners and customers as we prepare to launch new edge compute applications this year with new technology partners to unlock the true potential of edge networks.”