StarHub to offer hyperscale data centre services from AirTrunk's new Loyang facility

StarHub now fully owns or co-invests in seven data centre locations in Singapore.
StarHub now fully owns or co-invests in seven data centre locations in Singapore.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - StarHub will provide round-the-clock, stepped-up technology and connectivity services to its customers from start-up AirTrunk's upcoming hyperscale data centre campus in Loyang, with an eye on the launch of 5G mobile networks in Singapore next year.

The StarHub Data Centre @ Loyang in Singapore's east is expected to be ready for service by mid-2020, the mainboard-listed telco said on Wednesday (Oct 9).

Backed by Goldman Sachs and TPG Six Street Partners, AirTrunk is a hyperscale data centre (HDC) specialist that serves cloud, content and telecommunication providers across Asia Pacific. HDCs are significantly larger versions of typical enterprise data centres, housing thousands and sometimes millions of servers.

With its strategic partnership with AirTrunk, StarHub's corporate customers will be able to access HDC services, which are typically out of reach to corporates in Singapore, Arthur Tang, head of StarHub's enterprise business group, told The Business Times (BT).

"Benefits of hyperscale data centres include optimising energy efficiency to lower their operational cost and reducing their corporate carbon footprint," Mr Tang said.

The facility will be critical to meeting the increasing demands from enterprises and hyperscalers, such as e-gaming, e-sports and e-commerce providers, said the telco.

The facility will also be carrier-neutral, with the ability to interconnect to public cloud providers onsite.

Michael Juniper, deputy chief executive officer of AirTrunk, said on Wednesday: "StarHub will play an important role in AirTrunk's cloud ecosystem, allowing StarHub's customers the ability to directly connect to key public cloud nodes."

With 5G expected to be available in Singapore from next year, there will be a proliferation of new services through 5G's mobile edge computing and campus networking capabilities, Mr Tang said.

"As such, we believe our customers will demand even more of such hyperscale data centre services to support their business innovations," he said.

In addition, with cloud computing innovations and the increasing data requirements of artificial intelligence applications, StarHub will continue to look out for more cost-effective and environment-friendly data centre solutions to support its customers' new business initiatives, Mr Tang told BT.

AirTrunk, which already has data centres in Australia, announced in April that it had raised S$450 million in debt and equity to help build its first Singapore facility.

The campus will be opened in two phases, starting with the first in mid-2020 which will allow half of the 60-megawatt capacity to be sold to customers, while the rest will be built when there is enough demand.

The entire campus will take up 1.5 hectares of land and cost above S$500 million, AirTrunk founder Robin Khuda said.

It is located near the Changi North Cable Landing Station, which serves as a critical gateway for several major submarine cables that bridge Singapore to the rest of the world.

The AirTrunk campus is expected to receive the Singapore Building and Construction Authority's Green Mark Platinum certification and industry-low power usage effectiveness, StarHub said on Wednesday.

It is also designed to meet stringent security requirements including ISO 27001, PCI-DSS and Threat and Vulnerability Risk Assessment, as set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for all Singapore-based financial institutions.

StarHub now fully owns or co-invests in seven data centre locations in Singapore, Mr Tang told BT on Wednesday.

Besides AirTrunk, it also has partnerships with other global data centre providers, such as ST Telemedia Global Data Centres and Data Centre SG, to address the business needs of different customers.

StarHub's data centre business provides colocation services, managed facility, managed services and professional services, to enable its customers to house their business-critical applications and information reliably and securely.

Its shares were trading flat at $1.29 as at 9.44am on Wednesday.