Jesper Knutsson

Jesper Knutsson on

Airtel Joins the Movement in Building a Better Internet for Content Delivery

Access to the internet today is an essential utility, like water or electricity. But unlike water or electricity, we’ve grown to enjoy internet access at an unmetered/all-you-can-eat rate. According to Nielsen’s ‘Law of Internet Bandwidth,’ a user’s bandwidth consumption grows by 50% every year! Can you imagine the sticker shock of water and electricity bills if we upped our consumption of those utilities by that rate? Yet ISPs need to provide capacity for our staggering demand without a corresponding 50% raise in our fees every year.

The potential of open edge caching

Today, ISPs around the world are exploring ways to improve the quality, efficiency, and business of content delivery. At the same time, content providers everywhere are searching for network capacity to deliver their brand’s content at scale and the highest possible quality. Enter open caching – a technology ISPs and content providers are rapidly embracing for the benefits for their brands and their end users’ quality of experience. The truth of open caching lies in the architecture itself.

While content caching has been around for decades, the approach has never before been open or collaborative. In recognition and desire to better connect supply with demand and foster a better way to delivery content over the internet, an industry-wide community, the Streaming Video Technology Alliance (SVTA), was born, and from it, standardized Open Caching specifications. Now, for the first time, content publisher and service provider communities have a standard by which, together, ensure that content gets to consumers reliably, at the highest quality, and without interruption. ISPs also gain a fitting role in the media value chain for their critical piece of the content delivery equation, and this change in dynamic better fuels their ability to continually evolve their network to meet ever-increasing demand.

Open caching has been the most significant evolution in content delivery of the past decade. And with more experience developing and deploying this technology than anyone else, Qwilt is the industry leader of the open caching movement. Our Open Edge Cloud provides an intrinsic fabric to unite supply and demand, we are uniting both halves of the media value chain to deliver in line with consumer demand, today and into the future.

India’s Airtel joins Qwilt’s global partnership of service providers

Capitalizing on the numerous benefits of open caching technology, we’re delighted to have Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications services provider, join our global partnership of service providers. By doing so, Airtel will improve the quality and delivery capacity of its live streaming, VoD, and media applications to over 400 million subscribers throughout India. This is a milestone announcement for Qwilt, as Airtel is the largest service provider to date to deploy our Open Edge Cloud solution.

The deployment will initially reach 15 sites in India and later expand to 40 nationwide. Airtel has already started recruiting content publishers to deliver content through the Qwilt platform. You can learn more about the partnership here.

Driving edge technology

If we look forward, the Open Caching foundations we are creating today will form the basis for the next generation of services possible from the carrier edge. For example, virtual reality has been touted as the ‘next big thing’ for many years but has been limited by factors such as bandwidth and latency – two areas where deploying technology at an ISP edge can unlock its potential. By enabling ISPs and third parties to work together more collaboratively, it’s a game changer for so many future digital experiences. This is why we have a mantra at Qwilt to ‘deliver content in the quality it was imagined’ – we envision a more efficient internet made possible by open caching, free of the capacity restraints that have previously limited digital experiences.

The network effect is another lesson we can take away from the rise of internet giants. As people become part of a platform, its value grows. And this is the same with the network edge closest to consumers. As more ISPs deploy Qwilt’s solution, its value to content and service providers grows. As less content is wastefully distributed and consumers start to expect a certain level of performance, adoption grows. The sum becomes bigger than the whole.

Bringing both sides of the content chain together

We see the future of the content industry being driven by collaboration and taking place at the edge, with both sides of the content chain working in harmony toward an aligned goal.

It’s a win for the end-user, as they can experience their favorite content at higher bit rates, in a better quality, and without buffering. A win, too, for the service provider with a solution that can free up capacity, mitigate traffic spikes, improve QoE and cater to any service within their networks.

And finally, a win for the content provider. At a time when a proliferation of new live streaming and on-demand services are emerging, content providers finally have a solution that can scale deep into the edge of the network, delivering their content closer to their viewers than ever before possible and ensuring quality of their brand.