Is your streaming TV service prepared…

Gwendal Simon

By Gwendal Simon

Distinguished CDN Architect

Is your streaming TV service prepared for the future?

Television. It has been around since the 1920’s and has constantly evolved: from a tone, a line, and an image; to black & white, color, and more. The delivery and consumption of content has also continued to evolve at unprecedented rates. One hundred years later, TV is still thriving, and we know that more evolution is ahead.

The 2020s presents a revolution for the infrastructure of live streaming delivery, but with it comes challenges. Not only will classic TV channel bundles embrace Adaptive Bit-Rate (ABR), but the OTT newcomers will acquire rights for the most massive and demanding live events, not to mention the metaverse. For a single Internet Service Provider (ISP) it will require preparation to offer its customers the online video experience and to deliver it at a rate of three-digit Terabits-per-second.

Scary, but full of opportunities.

Yet to be successful, ISPs must recognize that the Internet is a network of networks. They must be careful to not exhaust its interconnection points with other networks such as Points of Presence (PoP) and Internet eXchange Points (IXP) or risk a data explosion as they move from the origin of the video streams. The best solution is installing an internal Edge CDN, a.k.a. Telco-CDN, within its own network to minimize ingress, while providing the best quality video. This approach is not only cost-effective, but it is a proven way to reduce churn from video consumers.

Naturally, the ISP will have to offset the cost of investment. Here, we see two visions emerge. In the first, the ISP becomes an infrastructure provider, offering its pipes and racks, while allowing third-party players to install alien CDN boxes in its network. The activities of the ISP are then restricted to the lowest layers of network management, where it is traditionally the least profitable. Alternatively, the ISP can become a local premium CDN. Simply put, they keep the biggest slice of the streaming business cake for themselves. Of course, the battle for growth in the delivery business will be fierce, but the rewards will be substantial: full control of delivery to consumers which is, after all, the ultimate mission of the ISP.

Finally, the ISP will offer new immersive experiences to its customers. Today’s video delivery will evolve into a more secure, more personalized, and more metaverse-centric services. The infrastructure must embrace the beyond-caching era, where edge servers will perform processing operations for each individual stream. By owning the infrastructure, the ISP will reinforce its dual position: the customer entry-point to the online experience and de-facto partner of next-generation content providers.

As a trusted advisor, Synamedia helps ISPs reach their goals by tapping into the vast capabilities of our unique Fluid EdgeCDN solution and the expertise of our team. Our goal is to empower ISPs with the assurance that they are prepared for the future: deploying controllable processing capabilities at the edge can create an advantage and greater success.

About the Author

Gwendal Simon is a Distinguished Software Architect at Synamedia specializing in CDN technology. As a research scientist, his specialties have included live video, AR, VR, and cloud gaming with a focus on scalability. Prior to joining Synamedia in 2021, Gwendal led a team of researchers in network measurement for Huawei and was a professor at IMT Atlantique, after completing his PhD in computer science in 2005. His research work took him to Canada’s University of Waterloo and Adobe Research in San Jose. He has co-authored a dozen patents and published over 100 conference/journal papers on network, multimedia, and systems. The papers have proved popular, winning several awards and securing more than 4,000 citations. He presents to both academia and industry and has been both chair and technical chair at international scientific conferences. His academic duties include the promotion of reproducible research. He is Chevalier des Palmes Academiques.