One of the big questions broadcasters must answer is whether or not to opt for a commercial CDN or create their own private network.

Traditionally, private CDNs were only considered relevant for large global operators and media companies; however customised private CDNs are becoming a more attractive prospect for smaller content distributors.

Frost and Sullivan CDN whitepaper

Frost and Sullivan CDN Whitepaper

Today broadcasters must make an informed decision to privatise or commercialise their CDN.

Considerations for using a CDN service and whether or not to opt for a commercial or private option include the number of subscribers as well as the quantity of content the consumer views and the bitrate of the video streams.

According to a whitepaper commissioned by Edgware, the transition from linear TV to on-demand consumption across connected devices will result in an increase in traffic, particularly as higher resolution in 4K and the rapid growth of VR increases bandwidth demand.

Joachim Roos, Chief Executive at Edgeware: said: “This whitepaper can help a content distributor to make informed decisions on building their infrastructure for video content delivery. Many of our customers have already realized the benefits of building their own CDN.

”Our TV CDN architecture allows broadcasters and network operators to benefit from low-latency, control over bandwidth and cost-effective scalability. We’ve already built over 100 unique TV CDNs for customers around the world. ”

Content owners such as TVB, Televisa, KPN, TeliaSonera, Cincinnati Bell and Vodafone are all benefitting from having opted to build their own TV CDN with Edgeware, he said.

Akamai EMEA Director Product Marketing Ian Munford said companies ultimately have to decide if they can keep up with the rate of change occurring in the market.

Cost is the crucial factor and there is a strong argument for the multi-CDN approach, he said. 

“Private CDNs are costly and you need to ensure you have the right skill base to deploy.

”Large players in the industry like Netflix and Facebook are the global players; they drive better value from not using the commercial service. However for smaller broadcasters, I see very little value in building their own CDNs,” Munford said.

An assessment of scale, reach and quality can help form the basis of a checklist for media companies to establish the requirement to build their own CDN. See Box below.



CDN checklist

Frost & Sullivan has compiled a checklist to help establish whether a media organisation should build a private CDN


  • Do your concurrent viewers routinely exceed 50,000 in number?
  • Is your traffic volume predictable, with few sudden spikes?


  • Is your audience densely packed or geographically concentrated (v/s sparsely scattered across disparate regions)?
  • Is your audience located in regions where commercial CDN traffic costs are high and/or bargaining power is low


  • Is TVE/OTT a critical part of your viewer engagement strategy?
  • Do you offer on-demand HD and 4K content?