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MWC2015: Qwilt wants to turn your C-RAN into a video server

ITEM: Upstart companies Qwilt and Altiostar aim to slash latency for mobile video services by leveraging NFV C-RAN technology to integrate video caching into mobile base stations.

Earlier in the week, online video delivery vendor Qwilt announced a partnership with Altiostar, which specializes in pure-play NFV C-RAN mobile infrastructure. Under that partnership, Altiostar will integrate Qwilt’s NFV-based open video caching solution into its eNodeBs. Result: a fully integrated virtualized C-RAN that can cache video content.

"Video caching in the eNodeB greatly reduces the latency for the video content to be delivered to the consumer,” says Qwilt CEO and co-founder Alon Maor. “In large networks today, even before going to the base station, you can improve utilization by 20% just by going through the GGSN, the PDN GW [packet data network gateway], that area of the network. But if you reduce the latency by caching in the RAN, you can improve utilization by 50%, not including whatever latency reduction you have in the backhaul and the core network.”

Maor says that the goal is to integrate Qwilt’s technology with all eNodeB vendors, but Altiostar is the first to step up to the plate. “They’re an agile start-up like us, and they can work towards integrations like this very quickly.” 

More to the point, Altiostar is a pure NFV play, and Qwilt’s open video caching solution was designed with NFV and C-RANs in mind. “That’s the level of integration we’re seeking from Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent – all of them.”

All of the major vendors are developing NFV and C-RAN solutions, of course, but they’re relatively behind the curve in terms of openness, Maor says. “Technically we don’t need to do just straight integration with eNodeBs, but today they have strict access, so it’s not a cloud you see in the BTS where you can deploy any software you want on top of it. But in the long term it’ll be just like another software service.”

Maor says Qwilt’s goal is to ultimately deploy open video caching in every part of the network as the world evolves to SDN. “We are licensing the technology in such a way that the carrier that works with us can deploy our software in any location of the network that is available.”

Qwilt’s open video caching technology – which isn't just for eNodeBs – has already been deployed by 50 service providers worldwide, including several in Asia-Pacific.

Qwilt and Altiostar are engaged in joint go-to-market initiatives including joint marketing and selling the integrated solution, which is currently in trials.

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