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Russia's Rostelcom deploys world's largest operator-owned CDN

Rostelecom, Russia’s largest telecom operator and a provider in the country’s broadband and pay TV markets, has deployed the world’s largest operator CDN.

The new network (leveraging Media Delivery Network technology by Ericsson), is massive in scale, with content servers located in 30 major Russian cities. The stated goal is to create a sustainable business with OTT service providers.

The CDN design and integration is a world’s first in terms of both capability and geographic span, with content servers across all federal districts of Russia. The network has a capacity of more than 1Tb/s serving Rostelecom’s 9.5 million broadband customers, from a total base of 28 million subscribers.

With the new network, Rostelecom is addressing the rise in network traffic, the global consumer uptake of online video and the growing popularity of OTT services. The new network will enable Russian consumers to have a better user experience with diminished load time and buffering thanks to reduced network latency and increased throughput.

This ability to guarantee high-quality content at maximum speeds is expected to give Rostelecom a significant competitive edge, the company said in its announcement.

“Our ground-breaking CDN will ensure we can quickly reach consumers with the best quality — including HD and 3-D formats — without delays or interruptions. This guaranteed quality of experience is especially important to content providers who want to ensure customer satisfaction and foster brand loyalty,” said Olga Rumyantseva, Rostelecom executive director and director for corporate and government segments.

Ericsson’s system uses strategic distribution of multiservice edge servers, which brings content closer to the viewer. With a single-platform approach to policy control, routing and caching of all content types, the CDN also allows operators network efficiency and saves bandwidth, footprint and operational costs.

“Our solution is designed to scale with, reduce costs of and monetize this rapid growth in network traffic,” said Ove Anebygd, vice president and head of solution area media at Ericsson.

Ericsson said there is a global trend toward operator-owned CDN networks. Operator-owned CDNs enable more sustainable business models that reduce the number of links in the value chain from content to viewer, the company said.

“By owning the network infrastructure, they have a competitive advantage over global CDNs in that they can minimize the distance that content needs to travel, and therefore deliver it quickly, reliably and with guaranteed quality,” the manufacturer said. “Since global CDNs must also lease bandwidth from operators, operator CDNs also gain a cost advantage by sidestepping this process.

“Success for operator CDNs hinges on the ability to effectively capitalize on these advantages, accurately tracking network performance and making network, content, user and device-aware adjustments on the fly to ensure the best experience,” Ericsson said.