Apple Reportedly Building High-Speed Content Delivery Network
As consumer demand for online data, streaming content and mobile services continue to grow, Apple is reportedly looking to boost its high-speed network infrastructure to provide more of those services in-house.
Citing "people familiar with the plans," Bloomberg on Monday reported that Apple's new network ambitions are aimed at helping it better compete with rivals like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
While Apple already operates its own data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon, it wants to boost its internal capacity for handling high-speed network traffic, especially in large metropolitan markets, according to Bloomberg. That would include expanding its capabilities with gigabit-scale fiber connectivity.
Other leading technology companies have already invested heavily in such networking capacity. Amazon's Web Services, for instance, includes CloudFront, which uses a global network of "edge" locations to provide low-latency content delivery services.
New Services Bring Growing Data Demands
Apple is expected to see its need for high-speed content delivery services grow as it continues to roll out a wide range of new offerings such as Apple TV, its much-anticipated over-the-top, Internet-based broadcasting service. Other new services are likely to be announced over the course of this week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC15), which kicks off today.
Among those are a new streaming music service called Apple Music, and continually expanding capabilities for iPhones, iPads, and the recently launched Apple Watch. Apple is also moving into other services such as healthcare and medical research with programs like HealthKit and ResearchKit.
Helping to support such services will be new data centers such as the two that Apple is currently building in Ireland and Denmark. Announced earlier this year and scheduled to begin operations in 2017, the data centers in County Galway and central Jutland are being built at a cost of €1.7 billion ($1.9 billion) and will both be powered by 100-percent renewable energy.
Expanding Beyond Partner Providers
While it operates many of its own data centers, Apple currently depends on outsourcing and partner companies for many of its streaming and network-based services. It expects to continue doing so while also growing its in-house networking capabilities, according to the Bloomberg report.
That would help Apple maintain more control over new branded services such as music and TV streaming, rather than having to depend solely on partners such as Amazon Web Services. Greater automation and integration with its existing data centers and networks would also help it operate more cost-effectively, the sources said.
Google, for example, which has already indicated that it is interested in offering mobile phone and other services, is building gigabit-per-second capabilities across the U.S. through Google Fiber. That service is already up and running in Kansas City, Missouri, Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah and more cities are expected to be added to that list this year.