SingTel to spend $275M on regional data center service

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) will invest S$500 million (US$275 million) to offer end users a suite of managed hosting services from a network of Internet data centers in the region, the company announced Wednesday.

The scope of the project, known as Expan, is such that IT managers can outsource their entire IT function to the centers, SingTel said.

According to SingTel Chief Executive Officer Lee Hsien Yang, the rollout of Expan is in response to growing end-user demand for outsourcing.

Lee quoted analysts as saying that by 2003, 70 percent of all companies will outsource at least some of their IT operations to a third party, particularly in the telecommunications and Internet-related fields.

The Expan program will offer customers system administration and maintenance, security services, data administration, performance monitoring and fault management, problem resolution and technical support, SingTel said in a statement.

The Expan services will first be offered at existing SingTel data centers in Singapore, Osaka in Japan, Hong Kong and Sydney. By November, SingTel plans to open centers in Taiwan and South Korea, plus a second Japanese center in Tokyo and a second center in Sydney.

By early 2002, SingTel expects to add centers in Thailand, India and the Philippines, and has plans to open centers in China and Malaysia at a later date, according to the statement.

The centers will run hardware and software from BMC Software Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., National Computer Systems Pte. Ltd., Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

The Expan program is not just aimed at multinationals, as the explosion of global e-commerce and e-business traffic has created the need for reliable connectivity even among small and medium-sized enterprises, Lee said in the statement.

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