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Founded in 1998, dot com darling Akamai Technologies quickly became the market leader in the Content Delivery Network (CDN) segment. For over a decade, the company’s unique product, established infrastructure and partnerships with powerful companies worldwide have assured Akamai’s continued success.
However, it seems the rapid pace of technological advancement may have caught Akamai off-guard. In recent years, we have seen mobility-focused startups leverage their agility and innovative technologies to threaten established and powerful companies (Microsoft is a good example). In the CDN space, VDC believes Akamai has found the startup Cotendo an increasingly formidable threat – particularly the company’s Mobile Acceleration Suite (MAS), a product that can enable high-quality mobile experiences for customers worldwide. Leveraging the company’s unique distributed services, which develop real-time awareness of the user’s conditions, Cotendo’s MAS is able to make rapid network adjustments, facilitating improved “load times.”
Given the product’s potential to reduce latency and instability in mobile networks, carriers, systems integrators, and businesses with mission-critical mobility deployments are very interested in and are actively investigating services such as those offered by Cotendo to improve the performance and security of their increasingly cloud-based applications. Recognizing the advantage MAS would represent to its users, Equinix (a provider of global data center services) has allowed Cotendo to colocate servers at each of the company’s data centers worldwide (IBXs). Cotendo has leveraged this service to essentially quadruple their customer base.
Excitement around this three-year-old startup is far from confined to the world of IT. In June of this year, the company secured $17M in a single round of private funding, which included contributions from Citrix Systems and Juniper Networks. VDC believes that in the rapidly-changing world of enterprise mobility, Cotendo will experience rapid growth and potentially become a significant threat to competitors such as Akamai. Beyond the content acceleration space, we wonder how this disruptive technology will impact private LTE networks that are beginning to emerge. Cotendo has seasoned executives on their roster, and will continue to be aggressive and encroach on their competitors’ territory while offering unique mobile optimization solutions. In coming years, VDC believes these solutions have the potential to gain in importance as spectrum becomes an increasingly valuable and precious commodity.