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12 December 2019

Anevia secures not-so-secret major Argentinian telco upgrade

Whenever an anonymous customer deployment press release lands in the Faultline inbox, we relish the challenge of joining the dots to establish the where, what and how – ultimately painting a picture for our readers that few others will see.

The latest secretive announcement comes from French CDN technology vendor Anevia, talking about an expansion deal to support the multiscreen TV service of a top Argentinian telco. It took us a matter of minutes to pinpoint our prime suspect.

It describes addressing scalability using the Anevia Embedded Distributed Storage (EDS) technology in an environment where compute and storage are handled by the same servers. Anevia EDS is essentially a cloud DVR with reduced infrastructure by distributing recorded video assets across the embedded storage available on each streaming server.

Crucial to the educated guessing game is that fact that this mystery operator also expanded its reliance on Anevia’s better-known NEA-CDN technology. So, given Anevia’s long-standing relationship with Argentina’s largest cable operator Cablevisión, which has since merged with Telecom Argentina, there is a very high chance that Cablevisión Argentina has expanded the technology to bring its multiscreen offering to mobile viewers on the Argentina Telecom side of the coin.

If we’re correct, it would mark a major upgrade for Anevia to some 1 million active OTT video users from 4 million total TV subscribers. This could be for the new Arnet Play streaming service available to broadband-only subscribers, launched in February 2018 supported by video management software from Kit Digital (now Pixsel).

In fact, Anevia recently said that Telecom Argentina had doubled capacity while halving the rack space through the emergence of so-called hyper-converged infrastructure with assistance from Anevia’s technology. A hyper-converged approach claims to optimize all elements of storage and compute components to work together on a single commodity appliance from a single vendor.

Cablevisión’s Flow TV project began in 2011, with Anevia, Verimatrix and Minerva proposing a proof of concept for a new platform, taking a ridiculously long time to launch as it officially went live in 2016. Arris was the systems integrator and hybrid set top supplier.

This used Anevia’s Viamotion product, a software-based multiscreen streaming system, which has since been rebranded as the NEA-DVR. One of its central contributions to projects is its HTTP adaptive bitrate streaming technology, which optimizes Quality of Service on a real time basis according to available network capacity.

A key point of interest for many of Anevia’s customers and vendor partners over the years is its incorporation of the ViaMotion Origin Server, which enables the streams to be formatted in the various versions of HTTP, including Apple HLS, Google WebM, Adobe Flash HDS, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and MPEG DASH. Each of these formats in turn are used by several viewing devices, so some such conversion is needed to provide full TV Everywhere capability.

We should give some mention to Telefonica which only expanded the OTT video offering Movistar Play to Argentina 9 months ago, replacing the On Video service. There is every possibility we are mistaken and Anevia has in fact landed the huge Telefonica account in Argentina, although the likelihood of this being localized and the fact this week’s announcement talks about it being an expansion deals makes this unlikely.

Argentina and indeed Latin America as a whole has a wealth of OTT opportunities, with the incumbent operators like DirecTV LatAm and America Movil sluggish to compete in the streaming space.