NTT data centre in HK

An NTT data centre in Hong Kong

NTT Ltd plans to grow its global data centre footprint by 20 percent over the next 18 months, with projects in India and Indonesia contributing to the rapid expansion of one of the world’s biggest server-hosting platforms.

London-based NTT Ltd was formed in July 2019 to consolidate the Japanese telecom group’s regional data centre brands, which include NTT Communications in Asia Pacific, Netmagic in India and RagingWire in the Americas.

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Under the expansion announced Wednesday, NTT will increase data centre floor space to more than 600,000 square metres (6.5 million square feet) by the end of 2022, up from 500,000 square metres across 160 carrier- and cloud-neutral data centres in over 20 countries and regions.

“NTT has already started construction to add 300MW of IT load to its portfolio,” said Masaaki Moribayashi, president and board director for NTT Ltd. “With the completion of new data centres, expanded campuses and high-capacity networks such as the MIST submarine cable, we are building a connected future that will benefit NTT’s clients around the world.”

Bulking Up in India

Commanding a network of interconnected facilities in key markets like London, Singapore, Tokyo and northern Virginia, NTT bills itself as the world’s third-largest global data centre provider, trailing only US giants Equinix and Digital Realty Trust.

The company’s under-construction MIST undersea cable, linking Singapore, Malaysia and India, is expected to have a total length of 11,000 kilometres (6,835 miles) once work is complete in mid-2023.

Masaaki Moribayashi of NTT

Masaaki Moribayashi of NTT

NTT’s focus regions are Asia Pacific, the US, Europe and India, said Yasuo Suzuki, who serves as senior vice president of business management at NTT Ltd and president of NTT Global Data Centers Corp.

“Our growth driver now is India, our highest-growing market,” Suzuki told Mingtiandi in an interview.

Over the next 18 months, four new hyperscale data centre parks in India are set to go live: two in Navi Mumbai and one each in Chennai and Delhi, adding 133MW of IT load and 50,000 square metres of floor space, NTT said.

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In Indonesia, the company will launch a 15MW facility at Bekasi, 30 kilometres from central Jakarta, by the end of this year, adding more capacity in the emerging hotspot that has seen projects announced by newer data centre developers like Logos and Princeton Digital Group in recent months.

“Indonesia is a focus area of hyperscalers,” Suzuki said. “That’s why many newcomers are coming to Indonesia.”

Competition Brewing

NTT’s portfolio upsize comes amid an intensifying data centre race in Asia Pacific, driven not just by mammoth players like Equinix and Digital Realty, but also regional startup platforms launched by Singapore’s Digital Edge and Princeton Digital Group and Hong Kong’s ESR, PAG and Gaw Capital Partners.

Even so, the backing of the world’s fourth-largest telecom group will lend some financial credibility to NTT’s data centre division when competing with smaller entrants in the arena, Suzuki said.

“Perhaps we may be able to borrow the money, but also we have to seek financial efficiency from an NTT stakeholder’s perspective,” he said, noting that while NTT’s financing thus far has come from corporate borrowing, the company would consider third-party investors in future.

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One potential advantage enjoyed by NTT is the ability to provide hybrid services to enterprise clients. Drawing on its long experience in digital infrastructure, the company offers tailored services to align with a client’s business goals, including management, monitoring and equipment.

Aside from enterprise, NTT’s other key customer segment is wholesale, which includes services for global hyperscalers like Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

NTT offers both build-to-spec and off-the-shelf solutions. The company might work with pre-sold clients on design matters in a specific market, while customers in the US typically purchase rack space from the inventory of existing assets, Suzuki said.

“We are not only a data centre provider, but also a full-stack service provider of every ICT service,” he said.

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