Specifically, Rayburn says AT&T has spent the last several months building out its CDN infrastructure and training its sales force and resellers to sell CDN services, which it “expects to aggressively push into the market” during Q3.
Since December, AT&T has been busy working on the build out and expects to spend between $70-$80 million on infrastructure this year. By the end of 2008, AT&T is aiming to have 400Gbps (gigabits per second) of capacity online, for all their content delivery services, which would increase their capacity by 4x what they have now. When completed, their content delivery services will be delivered from 32 nodes in 7 countries and they will be Adobe (ADBE) Flash Certified by year’s end and will be supporting live and on-demand delivery for all the major formats.
Currently, some customers of AT&T’s are still having their content delivered via Akamai (AKAM), who AT&T has been re-selling and using as one of it’s partners for some time… While AT&T won’t have some of the additional CDN services in the content eco-system like content management, transcoding, DRM etc… like most CDNs, they will probably partner with others in the industry who provide these services.
AT&T hasn’t given any financial guidance for its CDN business, but Rayburn says AccuWeather.com and the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) are cited as clients, in addition to Forbes.com, which we already knew about. A reader also says he’s seen mobile TV firm MobiTV using AT&T’s CDN.
One potential business benefit for AT&T: Like would-be CDN rival Level 3 (LVLT), and unlike market leaders Akamai and Limelight Networks (LLNW), AT&T already owns the network pipes it needs to run a CDN.
An interesting comment on Dan’s site from Ray Harris, who claims to be an AT&T CDN customer:
They offer a decent, although very outdated web interface for configuring live event publishing points (not Web 2.0 and kinda slow).
Their biggest problem is that they don’t seem to have a sales force for this service and their prices are even higher than Akamai. The AT&T CDN is one of several we use but is the last choice among our producers. We have been a client with them since 1999 and have not spoken to a sales person since 2001.
I hope they do move forward and upgrade their services and I hope they realise that relationships with your clients does make a difference when it comes to which CDN a client chooses.
Disclosure: Panther Express, a content delivery network, is one of SAI’s sister companies.