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Netflix’s CDN, Facebook app store; Vodafone and Telefonica network share - Telco 2.0 News Review

[Ed: If you’re interested by the themes in this Telco 2.0 News Review, you’ve still got a few hours to sign up for the EMEA Executive Brainstorm in London tomorrow. Register here. We’ll also be Tweeting over at https://twitter.com/#!/telco2 both from our event and from NGMN after 6pm UK time.]

Netflix is moving its video firehose into its own CDN, Open Connect, rather than using L(3) or Akamai. This means a further shakeup of the Internet peering ecosystem, and is perhaps a sign that however good the cloud gets, there’s still a strong case for controlling your infrastructure. Fascinatingly, Netflix is also going to release the hardware design and software of their servers under an open-source licence. Operators who host the nodes won’t be paid anything, but will get the pain off their transit and peering links.

Dan Rayburn has details, including the facts that unlike Google Cache boxes, these machines will be under the hosting ISP’s control, and that Netflix is not planning to cache content in the usual sense but rather to push it to the CDN boxes proactively. Typically, the nodes will be running read-only during peak hours and write-only in the dead of night as the next lot of movies are pushed out.

Rayburn also takes issue with the argument that this means doom for Akamai, here. He also wonders why AT&T and Verizon haven’t made more of an impact.

And Citrix has acquired mobile acceleration and CDN specialist Bytemobile.

Something odd: Benoit Felten reads Akamai’s State of the Internet report and notes that speeds dropped around the world in the last six months. More discussion is here.

The Voice of Broadband reports that Fastweb is closing its IPTV service, which is losing out to satellite. Benoit Felten argues that independent IPTV is simply a bad business and we’ll see more exits. Another reason to dump IPTV is that so much stuff is just on the Web: France Telecom is buying the rest of Dailymotion it doesn’t already own. However, globally, telco IPTV subs are still rising.

By next year, major movie markets may have stopped distributing 35mm film. Opportunities for satellite distribution or NGA broadband there?

Here’s a thing: streaming video paid for via carrier billing. Click through and you’ll find out it’s not as Telco 2.0 as that…

And where’s all this video going? Tablets, according to Mary Meeker.

If you need even more video news, GigaOm will be streaming the Akamai CEO from their conference on the 20th.

It’s Apple’s WWDC this week. Wired and many, many others are speculating about some sort of Apple TV refresh. Dan Rayburn points out that it needs a lot of refreshing, as even people who always buy Apple products don’t buy Apple TVs. Horace is kinder but still notes that it’s worth less than iPad Smart Covers, while expecting Apple’s Q2 to be back in the “exceptional” zone.

Elsewhere, HTC cut its Q2 target sharply and got sued by Apple. Apple has also, it turns out, patented a computer that is thin and sort of wedge-shaped.

Facebook is an app store, covering “any canvas (i.e. HTML5), web, or mobile apps”. Apparently, if an app requires a download, App Center will send you to the App Store or Google Play, which does make you wonder why you’d bother going through Facebook in the first place. You’ll be able to acquire Facebook’s digital currency via carrier billing, too - which is probably better news for the carriers than anybody else. TechCrunch points out that Facebook’s strategy is looking a little confused here.

Chart of the Week goes to this one of Mary Meeker’s, showing usage of Viddy after Facebook started plugging it.


It went up…to begin with. Meeker also points out that mobile ads are a bit of a disappointment.

Android growth appears to be slowing down, says Horace. Ironically, this comes as Google leapt into 2008 by giving the Maps app the ability to cache mapping and work offline, like Nokia Maps has had since forever. It’s been confirmed that iOS 6 is coming and new Apple maps with it, and Google Maps was giving some detail of their data collection in an effort to spoil the party.

Andy Rubin, meanwhile, claimed 900,000 activations a day and denied he was going anywhere. Google’s latest acquisition is Quickoffice, makers of that app that lets you look at Microsoft documents on your phone.

Nokia VP Mary McDowell thinks featurephones have a future, although 40% of them will be big touchscreen devices by 2015 and the features include apps and a full-service web browser.

Google also promised to change the Google Apps Ts&Cs to comply with EU privacy law.

Privacy, eh? It was the week LinkedIn, eHarmony, and our Hoxton neighbours Last.fm all managed to leak millions of passwords. The sad thing is that the protective technique known as salting has been well understood since 1978 (and you can read Ken Thompson’s classic paper here).

The F-Secure Antivirus Blog has advice on adequate salting. John Graham-Cumming is scathing about LinkedIn’s disclosure. This Cambridge Computer Lab Technical Report, from earlier this year, evaluates a wide range of alternative solutions to passwords.

Microsoft is shipping IE9 with Do Not Track on by default. Google warns GMail users threatened by “state-sponsored attackers”. And a thrilling combination of credit reference agencies and Facebook. What could possibly go wrong?

Up in the cloud, Heroku had a visit from the Fail this week, kicking off a row about what should happen when a cloud service fails. Is it fair on the application developer to show an “application error” when the platform is at fault? Discussion is at Hacker News.

Amazon now provides a programmatic way to get at your AWS bill, and a really interesting HOWTO about using their EC2 Spot Market, Simple Notification Service, and CloudFormation console together to automatically scale up an application when EC2 capacity is cheap.

And you can try out an Amazon Appstore Android app in your web browser.

Microsoft, meanwhile, have changed a lot of details in Azure, making it more of an IaaS and deploying a ton of features.

In carrier news, Vodafone and Telefonica O2 UK are going to deepen their network-sharing efforts, hoping to save €1bn by combining the physical infrastructure (although they won’t share the RAN) and rationalising the responsibility for maintenance. This will take the UK down to 2 physical networks, the MBNL-Everything Everywhere JV and the Telefonica-Vodafone JV.

Telefonica was much in the news this week. After fairly dreadful Q1 results, and a ratings downgrade, they’re selling the stake in China Unicom to fetch just under a billion quid. Minority investments in China haven’t really got a good record, have they?

Meanwhile, Telefonica signed an exclusive deal with Jasper Wireless to provide their M2M software and devices in the UK. Relatedly, Lenovo has a partnership with Macheen to get embedded broadband into their laptops.

And O2 Germany may be buying E-Plus off KPN.

It’s IPv6 Launch Day! T-Mobile USA announced their turn-up, although some Android users had been aware of a soft launch for some time. AT&T is going ahead with the 6RD transitional solution. And Verizon Wireless, which led the way with mobile IPv6, announced another round of LTE deployments.

European regulators cleared the 2100MHz band for re-use as LTE spectrum. Two links on broadband pricing: RevK and Kim Larsen from DTAG.

Telcos turn to the SMB market. Funny, we made a note about that.

Obermann: telcos are arrogant. EE spends £50m training staff on mobile OS. Benchmarks for mobile money transfer. 3UK’s latest MiFi. Ericsson tries out the crystal ball.

Rebtel is on the iPad. Google Voice improves its spam filtering. Skype has ruled out “pre-roll video ads”. Tropo and Drupal for humanitarians. The Foxconn riot that wasn’t. Datasexuals.

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Great article! Other comapnies already have a similar approaches, like Aflexi, recently bought by OnApp. OnApp is already present in more than 250 datacenters on 5 continents so they will have high number of points of presence for their CDN offering which also include a marketplace for providers. Other comapnies like jet-stream.nl have top offering for video and Telcos focused CDN federation, with BitGravity (a previous company of XDN, 3Crowd CEO) like application layer routing intelligence. Concerning multi-providers DNS load balancing technologies, Cedexis has, in my own opinion, a better technology because it take into account realtime measurements collected by real end users. As a conclusion, there are many interesting actors in the white hot CDN federation market, all with interesting infrastructures and technologies, all focusing on providers but how will CDN customers with little knowledge and few ressources manage all these providers and technologies? To get the answer, through an exclusive demo, come at Founder Showcase November 8th in San Francisco.

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