Hmmm, lots of news in eastern Europe today! Alongside Level 3's move on the Balkans, Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) has also announced a significant expansion into the region for the first time. They will formally move east from Germany into five new countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
Each of those markets has seen bandwidth demand growing rapidly for several years now, drawing interest from many international carriers. It was only natural that Akamai too would find its way in as well. The 800lb gorilla of the CDN space intends to open an office in Krakow, Poland, followed by other offices and staff over the next 6-12 months. The expansion effort will be led by Bruno Haubertin. Akamai has been under some competitive fire this year after a 2010 in which they posted very impressive organic growth. That the attention pendulum should swing back really ought not surprise anyone, but they are still in a very solid position as they shift toward the 'cloud optimization services' they have been aiming at of late.
Meanwhile, Dan Rayburn has weighed in on the growing chatter on the CDN Federation front. Telecoms of various stripes are working on forming something called the Operator Carrier Exchange, which is aimed at finding ways to interconnect their CDN efforts. I think that while this trend is at an early stage, it makes too much sense and will find a way forward one way or another. Still a few years away from the 'talk' stage though, as Dan says. Nevertheless, Akamai's recent moves in the direction of licensing their software to telcos suggest they too are taking the idea very seriously.
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