Sixty million Japanese will now have a chance to get their own domain and Web site through Verio, a result of a commercial alliance that Verio and dominant Japanese carrier NTT are expected to announce today.
A $100 million investor in Verio, NTT has been reselling Verio connectivity products for more than a year, but this Web hosting deal eclipses all previous dealings between the two companies because of its sheer magnitude. Armed with Verio's Web hosting technology, NTT has the sales power and market share to make Verio a super-brand in Japan.
"All of our Japanese products will be sold with a 'powered by Verio' brand," said Sean Brophy, Verio's vice president of business development. "We see this deal as a huge opportunity for us - it's like getting all Bell companies and UUNet to be your partner." NTT is Japan's incumbent telephone company that is being deregulated, much like AT&T in 1982.
Under the terms of the deal, NTT will build at least one major data center in Tokyo, for which Verio will supply shared Web hosting technology. In spring 2000, Verio will make available its Web hosting software, customized for Japanese-speaking users. From that moment on, Verio will sell NTT Web hosting accounts at an undisclosed wholesale price, and NTT will market this service to Japanese end users at a price that has not yet been set.
The primary audience for this service are Japanese small and midsized businesses. NTT has 700,000 customer for its Internet service, many of which are small businesses.
"Much like in the United States, there are 7 million small and medium-sized businesses in Japan," Brophy said.
After a number of successful acquisitions in the Web hosting space, which included Hiway Technologies and all of America Online's Web hosting customers, Verio has emerged as a U.S. Web hosting powerhouse. Thus far in the U.S. Verio has put up 265,000 business Web sites. Now, the Englewood, Colo.-based Internet service provider (ISP) seeks to relive its success in the land of the rising sun.
"NTT chose us because we have a track record of scaling Web hosting services," Brophy said. NTT officers were not available to comment on this announcement by our deadline.
Other U.S.-based ISPs such as PSINet and UUNet have made inroads in the Japanese Internet market through acquisitions, but Verio's clout through this Web hosting deal tops them all.