Called Expan, the suite aims to provide Web hosting, systems maintenance, data administration, security, network monitoring and fault management, and technical support services to application service providers (ASPs) and Internet companies in the region. According to the telco, Expan is an extension of its existing leased circuits and frame relay services targeted at corporate customers.
SingTel executive vice president for Corporate Business Lim Chuan Poh said the company expects sales of S$15 million (US$8.2 million) from Expan by end March 2002.
"SingTel will leverage (on) returns across its telecom network by bundling Web hosting services with other telecom offerings (to provide customers with) an end-to-end solution," Lim noted during a press conference this morning.
Expan will be available at SingTel's existing data centers located in Singapore, Osaka, Hong Kong and Sydney from August. By November, the telco will also offer Expan in its new data centers in Taiwan, Korea, Tokyo and a second one in Hong Kong.
The telco also plans to set up more centers in the Philippines, Thailand, India, China and Malaysia by 2002 through partnerships with associated companies such as Globa Telecom, AIS and Bharti.
The equipment and software for Expan are provided by BMC Software, Cisco Systems, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, National Computer Systems, Oracle Singapore and Sun Microsystems.
At the launch this morning, SingTel director of managed hosting services Titus Yong claimed, citing a UBS Warburg report, that "the data center business will ultimately return full circle to be dominated by the leading regional telcos".
This is because independent players will find it hard to compete with regional telcos on scale and resources, Yong explained. Meanwhile, consolidation in the "pure play" Internet data center market is already taking place with telcos emerging as winners, he claimed.
For instance, US-based Digital Island was snapped up by Cable & Wireless Plc in a US$340 million deal in May, while locally-based DataOne last month laid off one-fifth of its staff and scaled back its North Asia expansion.
US-based IAsiaWorks also said in April that it would cut 100 jobs (or 25 percent of its workforce) in the US and Hong Kong as part of a plan to reorganize its business and reduce costs.
Separately, when approached today, SingTel has declined to comment on an earlier Reuters report, citing sources, that the telco could be running for British Telecom's stake in Maxis Communications.