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Airtel launches edge CDN ahead of 5G rollout

Airtel launches edge CDN ahead of 5G rollout
Photo Credit: Pixabay
1 Sep, 2022
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Ahead of the launch of fifth-generation (5G) telecom services in India in October this year, Bharti Airtel has introduced its content delivery network (CDN) service in partnership with Qwilt, an edge cloud platform that allows internet service providers (ISPs) to offer a better streaming experience to their users. 

Airtel Cloud’s Edge CDN accelerates web and video content delivery by using edge network to bring content as close to users as possible. This reduces latency, costs and load on servers making it easier for enterprises to focus on app performance. That said, Airtel would be able to deliver a better OTT (over-the-top) content experience to its several hundred million customers in the country. 

Qwilt’s Open Edge Cloud solution for service providers includes Qwilt software, cloud services and open APIs or application programming interface, a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other, providing quality-as-a-service content delivery and caching at the very edge of the carrier’s network. 

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Qwilt said, its solution is deeply embedded within Airtel’s network and, therefore, closer to Airtel’s subscribers than any other commercial or private CDN. This edge architecture reduces the cost of building network capacity and substantially improves delivery quality. 

“As we get ready to launch 5G services, we anticipate a significant increase in data consumption across major cities. Airtel Cloud’s Edge CDN, based on Qwilt’s technology, will substantially increase our ability to reliably deliver high-quality live and VoD streaming throughout India,” Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business, said. 

The telco has already partnered with 16 content providers across Indian states, and said, it is “looking to serve in this region so they can also enjoy the benefits of Airtel’s unique service offering across India”. 

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Alon Maor, CEO of Qwilt, said that its edge architecture provides a “new economic model for streaming delivery, in which Airtel Cloud’s Edge CDN plays a central role in the end-to-end value chain”. 

Each low-cost edge server can be utilised by other virtual network function (VNF)-based services making it cost-effective enough to distribute throughout the service provider’s access network. The partnership allows Airtel to scale up very rapidly as viewer demand increases, and is a step ahead to 5G rollout next month. 

Meanwhile, information technology (´╗┐IT) minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said that while the rollout of 5G services in major circles will begin as early as October 12, 5G services will be available in most parts of the country in 2-3 years.  

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