AT&T (T) today announced more details of its expected effort to enter the teeming content delivery network market, naming three software partners and saying it would spend nearly $70 million on network infrastructure before the end of this year. The move is an ominous one for smaller CDN companies.
The deep-pocketed telco giant, which had previously been an Akamai reseller, has two significant advantages: The ability to sell to its existing corporate customer lists, and the fact that it owns its own network. AT&T will be offering both on-demand and live video service with the help of software partners ExtendMedia (media delivery platform), Qumu (live webcasting), and Stratacache (caching and multicasting).
As Dan Rayburn wrote last month:
AT&T won’t go out of business in 18 months when the VC money dries up, like some of the other CDNs will, and the company has an enormous marketing budget, re-seller channel and plenty of R&D resources. That’s not to say those advantages will guarantee AT&T success, as we saw Qwest (Q), MCI, and other telcos in the market fail with these same advantages years ago.
As part of the move, AT&T said it has created a new business unit and named Cathy Martine executive vice president of content distribution. Martine had, among other things, previously led the company’s VoIP efforts.