September 18, 2023 - (Bloomberg) -- Globe Telecom Inc. expects its biggest data center to be operational in two years as the company capitalizes on growing demand and customers wanting to hedge geopolitical risks, President and Chief Executive Officer Ernest Cu said.
“We’re now in the throes of building a 124-megawatt facility with ST Telemedia here in the Philippines, and hopefully we’ll have it online early 2025,” Cu said in an interview on Monday with Bloomberg Television’s David Ingles, Yvonne Man and Rishaad Salamat. The facility in suburb Quezon City comprises over 83,000 square meters of gross floor area across four buildings.
The new data center highlights Globe’s ongoing shift from a telco into a technology firm and as it looks for other ways to boost growth with the telecommunications and broadband businesses expected to plateau in the near term. To date, competitor PLDT Inc. has led the data center race in the country, with 10 data centers accounting for about two-thirds of the domestic industry’s power share.
Globe is looking at two more landing stations in the country to boost connectivity and data capacity in underserved areas.
“So with the added connectivity, with the added data center capacity, we believe that the Philippines will become a great alternative for the many hyperscalers that have to serve in the region,” Cu said, referring to large cloud service providers that offer enterprise-scale computer and storage services. Capacity limitations in Singapore and geopolitical concerns in Hong Kong could prompt more locators to consider the Philippines, he added.
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. owns about 47% of Globe Telecom’s common shares, while Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp. holds about 31%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Globe has been betting on its mobile-wallet GCash to propel its growth. It may hold an initial public offering for GCash in one to two years, the Globe chief said. There’s no rush for GCash to go public, as it can raise money from private sources, he added.
“There are lots of people knocking on our doors who want to get hold of some of the equity of GCash given its growth potential and dominance in the country,” Cu said.
Globe Telecom shares climbed as much as 2.1% in morning trade after closing 2.4% lower on Friday.