Over the past twelve months, Pacnet has gone through a lot of changes. In October the company announced a transformation plan that would give the company a new managed-services and datacenter-centric approach and take greater advantage of their connectivity in Mainland China. And indeed they’ve been putting real money to work since then. With us today to tell us where Pacnet is at and what’s on deck is Jim Fagan, the company’s president of managed services.
TR: Pacnet has a series of new data center projects underway with new projects in both Singapore and China. Could you give us an update on the build-out so far?
JF: We’re looking to have the Singapore facility ready for service by the end of the year. That will open with a capacity of 600 racks, expandable to 1500. We also have the Tianjin facility, which is in the early build stages with our architects. We’re tentatively looking at having that ready for service around the end of Q1/2014 to launch that facility. And we have a new facility in ChongQing, which was launched this spring with 800 racks, expandable to 2000, and became ready for service by the end of March.
TR: Not many non-Chinese network operators get directly involved in physical assets in Mainland China, does that give you an edge?
JF: Absolutely, one of the key initiatives we laid out in October was our focus on China. Through Pacnet Business Solutions (China), our EJV in China, we actually do have IDC licenses, ISP licenses, and IP VPN licenses. That differentiates us from many of the other players, and makes it easier to get through the relationships in China.
TR: What is it like to build a data center in China, as compared to in the US or Europe? Does the system get in your way?
JF: It’s a little bit slower perhaps, but at least during the time I’ve been here I wouldn’t say there have been any major roadblocks or big hurdles. Of course, if you build a data center anywhere in the world, you will occasionally run into a hiccup that you must maneuver around.
TR: Does Pacnet have further expansion plans in mind for China?
JF: Yes, in 2014 we hope to have plans underway to enter the Shanghai area although we have nothing firm yet.