WorldCom plants 8th Asia data centre in S'pore

US telecommunications firm WorldCom Thursday announced the opening of its eighth international data center (IDC) in Asia Pacific, also its second in Singapore.

SINGAPORE--US telecommunications firm WorldCom Thursday announced the opening of its eighth international data center (IDC) in Asia Pacific, also its second in Singapore.

"This is testimony to how fast the market in Singapore and Asia is growing," said Fred Briggs, chief technology officer of WorldCom. "This is a critical market for us and it shows the commitment we have to provide our customers (with) access to our services."

The company plans to have 12 IDCs in Asia Pacific by the end of the year, although the locations were not mentioned.

When asked how he sees the role of IDCs evolving, he said he sees them moving from just offering hosting services and the like to providing the foundation for value-added services (VAS) in the future. To meet this challenge, WorldCom recently unveiled its Generation D initiative, which the company hopes will show that it does not just provide networking solutions, but also real solutions to all customer needs.

Generation D purports to show the value WorldCom places on its staff and it acknowledges their contributions to the company. WorldCom also hopes to show its forward thinking approach and commitment to delivering technologies to customers that will help them succeed in the digital economy.

Briggs added that "while we face stiff competition in Singapore itself, we feel that none of our competitors here are able to match our capabilities on a global scale".

Indeed, this seems to be where the strength of WorldCom lies. While it may face competition in different domestic markets, it is able to offer customers the ability to manage e-services globally.

With some 34,000 square feet in the new IDC located at Science Park Two, WorldCom hopes to have up to 85 IDCs up and running by year end, 20 more than their current worldwide count.

Meanwhile, Briggs also told Reuters that WorldCom was confident its Asia Pacific sales would continue to grow at double-digit rates despite the current economic slowdown.

He told the news agency that "given WorldCom's infrastructure and the services we provide, we are confident that we can continue to maintain double-digit revenue growth". However, he did not reveal WorldCom's Asian sales figures or their contribution to the overall bottom line.

He said a key growth driver was strong demand for Internet and data services, especially in Asia.

According to Reuters, Briggs also said the company plans to enter Singapore's international direct dial (IDD) market and expects to offer the service to the business community in July.

He expressed confidence that WorldCom--with "one of the largest global networks in the world that provide not only the basic telecommunications services...but also a whole series of value-added services"--would be able to compete effectively with local players like Singapore Telecommunications, according to the report.

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