Cloud Services

Colt Aims to Ramp Up Asian Investments

Network operator Colt has announced initial details of a major three-year investment plan in Asia, which will start with the expansion and upgrade of networks in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The UK-headquartered operator, which serves enterprise and wholesale customers globally, says the funding will go into both optical and Ethernet systems, allowing it to provide high-bandwidth services to major buildings and data centers in Asia.

Colt Technology Services Group Ltd refused to say how much it plans to spend in total but insisted the amount would be "significant."

Exactly what that means is hard to gauge. In a deal valued at £1.5 billion ($1.8 billion, at today's exchange rate), the operator was taken private by majority shareholder Fidelity in August 2015. In its last publicly available financial report, Colt said it had spent €125.6 million ($133.7 million) on capital expenditure in the first six months of 2015, 8.7% less than in the first six months of 2014, and made revenues of €790.8 million ($841.9 million) -- 2.6% more than in the year-earlier period.

The Singapore rollout is set to begin in April before Colt turns its attention to Hong Kong. Other cities in the region are also in the operator's sights, although it has yet to provide details.

A sweet spot for the operator could be enterprise customers active in both Europe and Asia. In its statement, Colt boasted that its expansion would make it the only service provider with fully owned fiber metro networks in key Asian cities -- including Tokyo, Osaka and Singapore -- as well as major European ones.

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Besides investing in metro connectivity, Colt plans to add new submarine capacity to its backbone and ensure that businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore can easily connect to other cities around the world.

Colt became a force in Asia in November 2014 when it acquired KVH Co. Ltd. , a Japan-headquartered data center operator also owned by Fidelity. (See Colt-KVH: A Hook-Up Bound to Happen.)

Regarded as a pioneer in the fields of SDN and NFV, which it has been using to support its launch of on-demand service offerings, Colt now claims to connect more than 700 data centers worldwide. (See Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017 and AT&T, Colt Claim Major SDN Advance.)

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

Alison_ Diana 1/12/2017 | 12:00:25 PM
Building on its Financial Relationships Colt's ramp-up in Asia makes sense, given the company's contracts with several of the region's financial districts. In 2016, Colt inked deals in Hong Kong and Singapore, I believe (along with others). Having proven itself in that sector no doubt was helpful. I know, too, Colt's banking a lot on IoT, specifically smart cities, and wouldn't be surprised to learn they've got lots going on in that regard within Asia.
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