AT&T is making another big push into the CDN market. It hopes to leverage its existing network infrastructure along with CDN software from Edgecast to offer content delivery services to its large base of Fortune 1000 clients. John Stankey, the president and CEO of AT&T’s Business Solutions group, announced the new offering at GigaOM’s Structure Conference in San Francisco today.
AT&T took its first step into the content delivery market back in 2008, when it stopped reselling Akamai CDN services and started to branch out on its own. Back then, AT&T announced plans to spend up to $70 million on the infrastructure related to the CDN offering, in an effort to compete against Akamai, Limelight and others. It followed that up with a hybrid online and on-premises offering for enterprises to more efficiently serve video behind the firewall. But it’s making drastic improvements to the available capacity and storage by implementing new third-party CDN software.
A lot appears to be new in this iteration. According to reports, the new CDN offering is based on technology from startup CDN provider Edgecast. Founded in 2006, Edgecast provides its own CDN services directly to online publishers, but it also has built a business of licensing its software to major service providers like Global Crossing and Deutsche Telekom.
While using its own network and server infrastructure, AT&T will be able to use that improved code base to increase capacity by about 3x and increase available storage by about 5x. The company will also offer enhanced mobility solutions for customers targeting mobile web and apps. And while the offering at first will work through AT&T’s 38 Internet data centers around the world, it also has the flexibility to extend those capabilities further into the facilities of of its customers for enhanced enterprise solutions.
For AT&T, the hope is that it can leverage existing relationships with Fortune 1000 companies to grab new enterprise, e-commerce and media clients. For those of us who remember the network provider’s original CDN push, that’s a familiar refrain. But with improved capabilities, the new CDN might be able to fulfill some of the promise that comes with being a globally recognized brand like AT&T.
For the broader telecom industry, the announcement is one more example of a service provider seeking to offer up its own cloud-based content services. For software companies like Edgecast or gear makers like Juniper or Alcatel-Lucent,, greater telco interest in CDN services could provide a big boost to their revenues.