WSJ: Apple Boosts Internet Infrastructure Lays Groundwork for More Traffic

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Hot on the heels on yesterday’s report claiming that Apple is building its own content delivery network, the Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone maker is “stitching together a network of Internet infrastructure” as its online delivery needs have grown.

Since the launch of the iCloud service allowing its users to store almost any kind of data, the company’s online delivery needs have surged, but the WSJ’s sources say Apple may have broader ambitions for television, which could involve an Apple TV upgrade or its own television set.

The company’s need for bandwidth and supporting infrastructure will grow if it moves further into television. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has said improving the TV viewing experience is an area of interest for the company and that it has a “great vision” for television. On a conference call last week to discuss its latest earnings with analysts, Mr. Cook said Apple is on track to break into new product categories this year, fueling speculation about a new television or revamped video service.

To address its needs, the company is locking up bandwidth and set to hire more networking experts. In fact, Apple has already contracted enough bandwidth from Web carriers that allow it to move hundreds of gigabits of data each second, the WSJ has heard. Apple also enhanced its infrastructure expertise last September by hiring Lauren Provo and Jean-Francois Mulé, an ex-VP of technology development at a CableLabs.

In other words, Apple is taking the same steps Netflix and YouTube did (for example) when they rolled out their own CDN to improve customer experience and cut costs.

This move, however, won’t happen over night. Analysts say it could take several years. Now, it remains to be seen when will Apple announce these steps. Akamai, the company’s CDN partner, is in the process of renegotiating its contract with its top customer – which could be Apple – so a move is close. It remains to be seen whether Apple will opt for an Apple TV upgrade or launch its own television set this year, as Tim Cook promised great things (new product categories) for 2014.

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