Indian telecommunications giant Bharti Airtel and CDN specialist Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW, news, filings) announced today that they will work together to provide more comprehensive content delivery services to the Indian marketplace. The CDN services market in India is growing at a 30% clip and has huge and rapidly growing online population, which of course means a global CDN needs to find a way to address it or be left behind.
This makes yet another Telecom that has dipped a toe into the CDN waters, but in the most conservative way. Bharti brings to the table their extensive local IP infrastructure, while Limelight of course brings the CDN itself. Neither company risks much nor consumes resources extending their reach from scratch. Together the two can both deliver data for Indian corporations with data to deliver internationally, and for international corporations seeking to access the Indian marketplace.
On the other hand, I have yet to see such a partnership really have much of an effect in the industry overall. So far, other than Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) no network provider that has entered the CDN business has really gotten Akamai's attention, most are still biding their time and just making sure the train doesn't leave the station without them. Limelight on the other hand, remains in Akamai's crosshairs, and can be expected to seek more partnerships like this to counter Akamai's advantages in scale.
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