Tata Enters CDN Space Via BitGravity

September 8th, 2008 by · 6 Comments

I suppose after Reliance Globalcom made its deal with Internap, it was inevitable that its erstwhile Indian rival Tata Communications would respond.  Today Dan Rayburn reports that Tata has in fact made its move.  Simultaneously investing $11.5M in BitGravity and launching its own CDN network based on BitGravity’s technology, I’d say they have called Reliance’s bluff and raised them a bit.  Tata and BitGravity were already allied, having partnered back in April, so this move should come as no big surprise.

BitGravity is another of the CDNs in the pack that trails both the leader Akamai and its chasers Limelight and Level 3, they lack the necessary scale currently and thus are open to partners.  Tata Communications burst onto the international telecom scene when it purchased the Tyco Global Network and Teleglobe – which had previously bought ITXC.  Via TGN and Teleglobe, the company owns a few big submarine cables outright and capacity on dozens of others.  However, on land they have little if any fiber in either the USA or Europe, instead leasing wavelength IRUs and such.  Their IP backbone, which still shows up as Teleglobe, is ranked roughly 14th in size internationally – not amongst the biggest but still respectable.  Wikipedia says they are transit-free, but with paid peering with Sprint – I’m going to dodge the question of whether that means they are ‘Tier-1’ because I think that title has become meaningless and unverifiable.  Tata is relatively weak on non-international routes compared to others, and hence their CDN is likely to focus on delivery to less well-lit corners of the internet – perhaps complementing BitGravity’s current network, which surely emanates from the largest internet hubs, rather than duplicating nodes.

It remains to be seen just how Tata will attack the CDN space, so the effect of this announcement on the market leaders is still quite unclear.  However, it seems certain that we should not discount the Indian carriers – they mean business and they have money to spend.

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Categories: Content Distribution · Internet Backbones

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6 Comments So Far

  • Ryan Lawler says:

    Just to get the timing of this correct — It seems likely that Reliance’s partnering with Internap was a reaction to the BitGravity-Tata partnership, not the other way around. BitGravity and Tata announced their relationship in March, but have been working together on deploying CDN in Tata’s network at least through the beginning of this year.

    Internap’s deal with Reliance was announced in July, and is a reseller deal — as far as I know, Reliance isn’t putting any CDN technology into its own network, but selling services that go over Internap’s.

  • Paolo Gorgo says:

    I do not think the Internap – Reliance deal can be described as a simple reseller deal – for example Tier 1 Research’s comment after the announcement was:

    “Internap will expand into India’s telecom market with CDN services through a new alliance with Reliance Communications’ Reliance Telecom. Rather than implement a standard reseller partnership, Internap is going to help Reliance build and operate CDN services in selected regions in India. ”


    “Under the alliance, Internap would set up a new Point-of-Presence in India which would be integrated with its Global Delivery Infrastructure spanning 7 countries(Australia, China, Singapore, Japan, US, UK and Netherlands). The Point-of-Presence in India would be established and managed by Reliance Globalcom.

    The alliance provides Reliance Globalcom the required expertise to integrate media servers, enhance storage, accelerate its network and optimize routes to deliver, manage, and monetize media content. The global infrastructure includes Internap’s patented MIRO (Managed Internet Routing Optimizer™) and ADN technologies. MIRO monitors the performance of Internet backbones and automatically selects the best path to global destinations, thus providing faster content delivery.


    a few more info:


  • Rob Powell says:

    Ryan Lawler is correct though that Reliance/Internap was a reaction to Tata/BitGravity from April, I should have started there when I wrote the post. I suppose I was influenced by my own raw opinion that the actual combination of the network assets of Reliance (FLAG+Yipes+Vanco) and the Internap network assets plus CDN are more formidable than Tata’s Teleglobe+TGN. I think Tata felt that BitGravity needed more ammunition because of that. But Tata did move first.

  • Az Man says:

    The Tata/BitGravity partnership looks to be an intelligent match. CDN’s have been criticized for being funding/VC heavy. Here you have a CDN that is doing things much more organically, partnering with groups that are part of the industry instead of reaching out to VC companies. I really like this move, vs either the publicly held firms like LimeLight and Akemai or the CDNs that are heavily funded with little to show for it so far. Good move TATA

  • Ryan Lawler says:

    Fair enough, corrected on the use of Internap in Reliance’s network. However, it’s interesting that — according to the release and T1R — Reliance is using that technology only in India, as opposed to expanding into further markets.

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