How ATN International built a new TV service based on OTT technology

By Silvia Candido, Field Marketing Director

In 2018, Anevia worked with an ecosystem of technology partners to build a centralised platform for ATN International – so that a number of different operators could share this platform to deliver their next-generation TV services.

The situation

ATN International is a US investment firm that operates, owns and invests in telecommunications companies and renewable energy assets, in the US and internationally. Its communications portfolio includes telcos with triple-play services, such as One Communications in Bermuda, Viya in the US Virgin Islands, Logic in the Cayman Islands and GTT in Guyana. It also owns communications companies in the US that focus on direct-to-consumer and wholesale wireless services.

The problem: How to transform TV and video

ATN identified that video services were generating 70-80 % of all traffic on its network. But, even though these services were bringing in a lot of revenue, they were not generating much margin. And ATN realised that this was part of a larger trend: Internet video traffic continues to increase, but traditional operators are losing subscribers to their video services.

ATN saw the need to transform how it delivers, and especially how it monetises video services. The proliferation of full OTT packages such as Netflix and Amazon Prime has brought about a new way of watching TV and videos. Many subscribers are dropping the traditional channel tier model in favour of less restrictive streaming TV offers, and they are actually starting to expect that their TV will be interactive and not tied to fixed schedules.

Viewers today want to watch programmes, including those that they have recorded, on any device and wherever they may be. And they expect a broadcast-quality, always-on viewing experience, regardless of how they actually receive their TV services.

The solution: Build a centralised platform based on OTT technology

To keep customers on their service, ATN knew that it would need to provide a wide range of features, including live streaming, video on demand, time-shift TV, replay or catch-up TV, and Cloud DVR.

After analysing several different business models, ATN concluded that the best option for its businesses was to take a two-step approach. Phase one would be to build a centralised hybrid platform to deliver the most in-demand content over a dedicated IPTV or HFC video network, with most of the channels being delivered OTT. In phase two, ATN will deliver ALL of its video content OTT.

Why Anevia

Anevia worked with an ecosystem of technology partners to build a centralised network for ATN that ingests, encodes and transcodes video before sending it to an origin server for encryption and packaging. Anevia’s origin / packager is built on key technologies that help lower storage costs and reduce bandwidth requirements, such as:

  • Just-in-Time packaging, to remove the need to store content in a different format for each and every device;
  • Infinite Buffer, to record and store content only once; and
  • Embedded Distributed Storage, to create a ‘virtual NAS’ directly on the origin servers.

Anevia also deployed edge caches and origin servers on the different islands, so that locally created content, including home security and IoT content, can be cached close to where it’s consumed.

The results and next steps

With the recent launch of FibreWire TV, One Communications has revolutionised the way its subscribers enjoy on-screen entertainment. FibreWire TV offers advanced guide-and-search functionalities, 4K Ultra HD picture quality, access to the latest releases with On Demand, the possibility to watch shows on laptops, smartphones, and tablets, and hundreds of hours of Cloud DVR. One Communications will also enhance the value of its TV services through the continuous addition of new programming options.

From a technical point of view, the centralised nature of ATN’s network means that its other Caribbean operators can quickly follow suit. And by putting edge servers close to users, ATN’s operators can reduce delays and improve the overall subscriber experience. According to ATN Executive Director Mark Jensen, this solution pays for itself, in the transportation costs on the sub-sea network alone!


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