three6five, Qwilt help operators in Africa ready networks for onslaught of streaming video traffic

Qwilt, a leading provider of online video delivery and open video caching solutions, today announced a technology partnership with three6five, a leading IP networking service integrator in South Africa, to improve over-the-top (OTT) streaming video strategies for service providers in Africa. The partnership will enable three6five to offer service providers in the region with Qwilt's award-winning open cache solution as a leading a strategy to address current challenges resulting from the growing demand for OTT.

Qwilt

The recent launch of new video streaming services throughout Africa is dramatically increasing traffic on operator networks, as more subscribers start free trials and sign up for a monthly subscription, which often includes unlimited access to stream from the vast content libraries offered by these new content providers. This rapid growth of streaming video can create massive bandwidth demands for service providers, which must find new ways to cost-effectively and rapidly scale their networks to meet demand without sacrificing quality of experience (QOE).

"The availability of new streaming services in Africa means that in order to remain competitive, network operators must redesign their network architecture to better support streaming video," said three6five CEO Tyrone Carroll. "A conventional approach to solving this problem means buying more routers, switches, links to upgrade networks and upgrading transit gateways and capacity. However, we believe and support Qwilt's open caching approach to solving next-gen streaming video delivery challenges. No one knows streaming video and caching like Qwilt, and with over 100 open caching deployments worldwide, we're excited to partner with the company to bring the benefits of network cost savings and improved quality of experience to network operators of all sizes in Africa."

Three6five works with network operators across the continent to build and upgrade networks to cope with constantly evolving market demands led by the current advancements in streaming video technology. In doing so, there are unique constraints in Africa that must be taken into consideration, such as high transit, peering and network infrastructure costs. Additionally, with much of the OTT video content being served outside of the continent, maintaining the quality of subscriber experience and serving content at the highest available definition is a growing challenge. Taking a rigorous approach to IP services implementation to satisfy business needs, the company fields a range of best-in-breed products combined with technical expertise to deliver technology recommendations based on real-world experience and a rigorous, practical approach to enable reliable networks.

"It won't take long before streaming traffic in Africa accounts for 60% or more of a service provider's downstream network traffic at peak, as we see now in Europe and the USA," said Dave Matthews, vice-president of EMEA for Qwilt.

"With open caching, operators can offload 50% or more of streaming video traffic to a local cache on the network, reducing the cost of transit bandwidth and the cost of internal network capacity required to keep up with streaming demand. Qwilt is already working with a number of operators in South/East Africa, where we serve over 50% of their video traffic locally. We have seen over 400% growth in streaming video in the last few weeks – where we are offloading online video content with greater than 70% cache efficiency in some deployments, and also improving QOE in terms of average bit rate by 300%. Our partnership with three6five will help operators prepare their networks to handle the rapid growth in streaming traffic from all types of content providers."

Qwilt's open cache solution is engineered specifically for high performance and scalable video delivery in the demanding environment of high capacity operator networks. Qwilt's solution is delivered as a fully managed service to speed deployment and streamline ongoing operation.

The broader operator organisation – including network planning, engineering and operations teams –benefit from comprehensive media analytics, which offer insights into growth trends, content sources and consumer preferences. By relying on open caching for online video delivery at the network edge, operators can substantially reduce network capital and operational costs – a typical open cache deployment yields a return on investment in less than 12 months.

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