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Levent Gurses

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Why Mobile CDNs Matter

Users are increasingly turning to mobile devices to consume content. Three forces are driving this trend:

  • Improvements in network coverage

  • Faster and cheaper data bandwidth

  • More affordable mobile devices

The increased usage of mobile devices, both on the mobile web and apps, poses an interesting dilemma for carriers. While network capacity keeps improving, so is the size of the content users download. All this raises the question as to what can be done to better optimize the user experience. Speed of the network is a key factor determining how fast apps load, what content and how much of it can be consumed and the overall user experience.

During a recent mobile development project, our team faced with a similar question. The success of Opulenc, a member-based video platform, relies on a fast network that can serve brand messages and advertising videos fast and with minimal interruptions. The natural place to look was a mobile Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Using a Mobile CDN, the Movel mobile engineering team incorporated features needed for an complete and uninterrupted user experience. The video content and its location-based servers were optimized for the delivery on-demand video and image-based assets. Our backend platform included device detection, caching, image optimization, bitrate adaptation and video transcoding.

Yuriy Sannikov , CTO of Movel:
"The biggest mistake companies make, apart from the fact they wait too long to establish a CDN, is to not fully understand a CDN's capabilities and segment their visitors by geographic location. This leads to inefficiencies so that even after the CDN is in place, the users are not receiving the full benefits of geographically collocated CDN servers. We tried to avoid these mistakes with Opulenc and our initial speed and load tests confirm our hypothesis."

Our video server nodes are deployed at multiple locations, spread across four AWS geographical regions. These nodes communicate with each other to serve video streaming requests by mobile app users, seamlessly operating, moving content and re-instating a failing instance. Users are unaware of any of this infrastructure and can enjoy an uninterrupted viewing experience.

The main purpose of the CDNs is to deliver content faster, depending on the users’ geographic location. This is the key advantage that we have been seeing and the main reason we recommend Mobile CDNs to our customers.

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More Stories By Levent Gurses

Developer, hacker, speaker, community organizer and entrepreneur, Levent is the founder Movel, a mobile app development company in the Washington DC area. He is actively engaged in several communities on mobile and full-stack development across the Mid-Atlantic region. Levent holds a BS in Computer Engineering and is a Certified ScrumMaster and Certified Product Owner. I speak at conferences, meetup groups, user communities, government and non-profit associations on topics concerning mobile strategy and execution: Enterprise mobility Mobile user experience Maximizing the value of existing web assets for hybrid mobile applications Startups and strategies for for building Minimum Viable Products (MVP) Mobile monetization Cross-platform development Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM)