MNCs and large enterprise customers are being offered advanced cloud services by global carriers that require increased investment in data centers. Investment in data centers and the related infrastructure is now being integrated into a comprehensive strategy that includes additional service layers and advanced services beyond the traditional network services as global carriers expand, according to Ovum (, a company that “provides clients with independent and objective analysis.”

In this latest report, the independent telecoms analyst firm found that data centers are becoming the strategic service hub for new enterprise ICT services. Each carrier has a different approach based on the individual carrier’s capital available, service portfolio and propensity to partner.

“Global carriers are expanding outside the traditional franchise regions as they meet the demands of their MNC customers,” says Mike Sapien, principal analyst, Enterprise Telecoms at Ovum. “This will lead to different approaches as there are different customer targets, regional priorities and service portfolios for each of these global carriers.”

According to the report, nearly all global telcos are consolidating their data centers within their home regions typically and also expanding into new regions with a single major data center location. This includes increasing their investment into fewer premium data centres globally and upgrading the facilities that house their advanced cloud services. Some global carriers are using third-party data center operators (e.g. Equinix, Interxion) to expand globally as well. 

“This may seem like conflicting trends but it is all about focus and concentrating on fewer, higher quality data centers to provide global advanced and cloud-based ICT services,” Sapien says. “The long-term prospects for global expansion are to start with one primary regional location and then expand incrementally to meet customer demand. It is also likely and prudent to invest where and when required based on country regulations or application performance reasons.”

Another dynamic of this investment will be the mix of ecosystem partners within the carrier data centers, he adds. It’s all part of building the appropriate ecosystem within the data center for the carrier’s service portfolio. The report suggests that global carriers will have to develop this ecosystem in each data center and major region to provide global availability of their respective advanced, cloud services.

“Some enterprise customers of the global carrier may be a potential partner either in sharing risk (e.g. SITA and Orange) or in providing related services to other non-carrier customers (e.g.  storage services),” says Sapien. “This shows that there is room and a need for the global carriers to differentiate by developing their individual ecosystem of partners.”