In order to know more about the company and its content delivery model, Telecom Review sat down with Marwan Shehab, VP, MEA, Qwilt. In the interview, he highlights the how service providers can benefit from the open edge cloud solution offered by Qwilt in addition to the latter’s role in the 5G era.
Can you give us an overview of Qwilt and the main services and solutions the company offers?
Headquartered in the Silicon Valley, Qwilt is a software and cloud services company focused on creating the service provider edge cloud. We partner with mobile, telco and cable service providers to build out a global, next generation edge cloud infrastructure for content delivery. Qwilt’s Open Edge Cloud solution establishes a new content delivery architecture and business model, addressing the network capacity and performance demands that are growing daily as streaming video consumption accelerates. Based on open specifications developed by the Streaming Video Alliance, our unique solution establishes a distributed edge computing layer in the last mile of service provider networks, creating a powerful edge cloud services architecture with open APIs for content publishers. Qwilt’s customers include Verizon, Telecom Italia and over 100 other services providers around the world.
Can you tell us more about Qwilt’s new content delivery model? And how can service providers benefit from it?
There is a flood of streaming content coming, as video services – such as Disney+ – grow their direct-to-consumers offerings. With Qwilt’s Open Edge Cloud, service providers are able to optimize this growing traffic burden without a big infrastructure investment. Our new content delivery model puts services providers back in the content delivery value chain, opening the door to new business models, customers and revenue from the OTT ecosystem.
To respond to the relentless growth of streaming over their networks, service providers could significantly increase their investments in core network capacity to alleviate the onslaught, but there is little financial incentive to do so. Service provider customer contracts are typically based on peak bandwidth, not usage. When more consumer usage doesn’t translate into any additional revenue, the business case for additional infrastructure investment falls apart. This sets the stage for the capacity gap, when growing demand for streaming exceeds the capacity of the network to deliver it.
In Qwilt’s view, the best way to address the delivery capacity gap is to avoid it by moving the stream creation to the service provider network edge, close to consumers. With the addition of edge computing resources, storage, software and a coordinating entity, you get something that looks and functions like a CDN, but its core elements are owned and operated by the service provider who has financial and operational strength as well as the incentive to collaborate with content publishers.
What are the outcomes of deploying the Open Edge Cloud for service providers? They own, control and monetize video and application delivery within their own networks. By leveraging a Streaming Video Alliance-defined and open API to third party publishers, service providers can establish the ideal content delivery infrastructure, one that is closest to subscribers and can deliver the lowest latency, highest quality delivery experience.
What are the opportunities that the Open Edge Cloud provides?
When a service provider deploys and operates the Open Edge Cloud, they have the edge cloud layer needed to optimize media delivery within their last mile network. They have the incentive to build the edge cloud because of the infrastructure savings from using edge computing instead of network transport for content delivery. They also become part of the value chain and, therefore, share in the monetization benefit.
Qwilt’s new content delivery model is a win for service providers who save millions of dollars that they would have spent to expand their networks. Further, service providers benefit from the new business model, new customers and new revenue that come with monetizing edge cloud services. Qwilt’s new model is also a win for content publishers because it means more capacity and lower cost for delivering their content. And it’s a win for consumers who can stream and download with the quality and speed they expect. This winning combination isn’t just a concept. It’s already working. Over 100 service providers around the world have installed thousands of Qwilt edge servers inside their networks, including live deployments with major service providers in the Middle East and Africa.
Amid high security concerns in the industry, how do you ensure that the solutions you offer are secure?
Qwilt’s Open Edge Cloud supports the networking, data and content security models required by both service providers and content publishers. Our solution meets the exacting standards set by customers like Verizon for application and cloud services that run in their network. Our content delivery services, based on our Open Edge Cloud, also provide support for DRM, HTTPS and other security requirements set by our publisher partners.
What role does Qwilt play in the 5G era?
In order for network operators to deliver on the promise of 5G, they require the complementary edge computing power of Multi-Access or Mobile Edge Computing (MEC). Quickly gaining traction, this disruptive, next generation mobile technology – when combined with MEC – will bring applications and content closer to the mobile network edge, reducing latency and making new services possible. At the same time, it also creates operational and cost efficiencies.
Qwilt’s cloud-connected, virtualized MEC application platform harnesses the unprecedented performance and speed offered by 5G, ensuring that mobile service providers are ready to deliver the newest, most latency-sensitive applications – today and tomorrow – at massive scale. From live streaming video to IoT applications, Qwilt’s Open Edge Cloud offers service providers the ideal architecture for content delivery with the best user experience.