Wanting to capture Asian Web hosting revenues projected to reach US$1.8 billion by 2004, SingTel has launched its EXPAN suite of managed hosting services (MHS) and committed S$500 million (US$274 million) to establish a network of Internet data centers (IDCs) throughout Asia by 2002.
EXPAN will enable multinational corporations (MNCs), ASPs, and companies involved in Internet-related activities in Singapore and the region to fully outsource their communications networks and Web hosting needs to SingTel.
“We don’t see ourselves as just providing space,” said SingTel president and chief executive officer Lee Hsien Yang at the EXPAN launch today. “We have the end-to-end capabilities to allow companies to outsource all of their network operations, and even application services.
“SingTel is the only managed hosting service provider with a regional footprint. We have Internet Data Centres across Asia, including in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. Our network of overseas offices and joint ventures in the region ensure that customers get consistent quality of service and in-country support.
“At the same time, SingTel is also a bandwidth provider. Our investments in submarine cable networks and satellite systems provide us with a direct supply of bandwidth. This means being able to give our customers faster and more cost-effective services compared to others who have to purchase bandwidth from a third party.”
Company officials stressed that the EXPAN suite of services – which include systems administration and maintenance, security services, data administration, performance monitoring and fault management, problem resolution and technical support – is not catered solely for MNCs but is also available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which form a sizable business segment in Asia Pacific markets.
“Today, businesses of all sizes are using the Internet for key business activities such as sales and marketing in addition to e-mail and data transfer,” Lee added.
SingTel expects EXPAN to generate S$15 million (US$8 million) in sales for the financial year ending next March, and S$30 million (US$16 million) the following year. The MHS unit is aiming to become profitable within three to five years.
But before these revenue targets can be achieved, Singapore’s largest infocom player will spend S$500 million (US$274 million) to establish a network of Internet data centers (IDCs) in major Asian cities from which it will offer its EXPAN suite of MHS.
Joining the existing list of IDCs in Singapore, Osaka, Shatin (Hong Kong) and Sydney by November this year will be newly developed ones in Taiwan and Korea, and additional ones in Tokyo, Tsuenwan (Hong Kong) and Sydney.
More IDCs will sprout in 2002, as SingTel also plans to include the Philippines, Thailand and India in its list of IDC locations by working with its associated companies in those countries. IDCs in China and Malaysia are also being planned for setup by 2002.
Providing the equipment, software solutions and expertise to support these services are SingTel technology partners BMC Software, Cisco Systems, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, National Computer Systems, Oracle Corporation Singapore and Sun Microsystems.
Said Lim Chuan Poh, SingTel’s executive vice-president for Corporate Business, “SingTel will leverage returns across its extensive telecom network by bundling Web hosting services with other telecom offerings.
“SingTel has a proven track record of telco experience and reliability. IT managers can sleep easy knowing that they can outsource their entire operations to an established service provider who is committed to meeting their needs over the long term. In an increasingly volatile and changing market where players come and go, this is an assurance that our customers value.”