Brazil’s V.tal is about to launch six edge data centers in two South American countries.
Created by telco Oi and BTG Pactual/GlobeNet, the neutral fiber and connectivity provider currently operates at three sites in Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Barranquilla, Colombia.
Two more have been completed, one each in Fortaleza and Barranquilla. The company also purchased land in Porto he Alegre, Brazil for future edge sites.
Additionally, V.tal sees the potential to transform hundreds or thousands of points of presence (PoPs, interconnection points, and network traffic exchanges) into smaller edge sites known as micro-edges or far-edges. I’m here.
Overall, the company owns 430,000km of terrestrial fiber inherited from Oi, connecting more than 2,380 municipalities in Brazil. The network currently consists of his 18 million fiber-delivered households and is growing at a rate of 500,000 households per month with a goal of reaching 34 million households by 2025.
The group also owns 26,000 km of submarine cables belonging to GlobeNet connecting Brazil with Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, Bermuda and the United States.
In this interview, Cicero Olivieri (pictured), CTO and VP of Engineering at V.tal, and Bento Louro, VP of Wholesale, discuss the company’s edge data center strategy.
B-American: V.tal says its second Fortaleza Edge data center is 90% ready. What’s pending?
Olivieri: The commissioning test is being finalized.From a technical point of view the site is delivered [this week]All data hall parts and equipment are ready. Starts in January, the first day of the month.
We already have several customers.We will deliver the site with a cage [the structure] Released to first customer.
B-American: Who are these customers?
Louro: Main customer is OTT. [over-the-top internet and content providers]Due to confidentiality agreements, we cannot comment on names. But whether it’s an existing site in Barranquilla and Brazil, or a new one, the main focus is on the customer.
first site [in Fortaleza] was completely sold out and many deals were signed throughout the year. For the second site, some customers have already started installing passive infrastructure and some of the services are already live.
At least one OTT is expected to be live by the end of January.
We also work with ISPs. Some have already signed a contract, some have not yet.
The Fortaleza region in the northeast is a region heavily populated with these players. His ISP, the largest in the area, is either our customer or a potential customer.
Finally, there are also national and international operators from various sectors of activity. Whether you operate international interconnection points or offer your own applications and content.
B-American: How much capacity has the first Fortaleza data center already sold out?
Our total in Fortaleza consists of four data holes. One of them is sold out, but the other is on track and he has already started installing equipment in the third data hall, which will be ready in the second half of next year.
B-American: Hurricane Electric is one of its customers, right? They announced the installation of a fourth PoP at V.tal’s structure in Fortaleza.
Louro: They frequently use our structures in both Latin America and Latin America, from the United States to Colombia, Brazil, via submarine cables.
B-American: And what is the estimated availability of the second site in Barranquilla? Were there any delays on this project?
Olivieri: It is scheduled to go into operation at the end of May or the beginning of June. This Barranquilla site already has all the masonry.
Read also: V.tal to open new Barranquilla data center by June
We are going according to plan. The idea was to deliver the data center by the end of March. Like many players, we are aware of delays in the global logistics chain, especially when it comes to generators, power and DC power.
Luckily, we have a well-structured buying process. This allows the site to generally deliver as expected, albeit slightly lagging and coordinating better with customers.
B-American: What is the current logistics situation?
Olivieri: There were a lot of delays. V.tal gets a significant amount of purchases from these infrastructure providers. In addition to data centers, there are 3,700 telecom PoPs with generators and more. My budget is very big and very important in negotiations.
There was still a problem. It has improved. I think the most serious stage of things has passed, but it’s still something to watch in the general planning of the company.
B-American: What about Porto Alegre? What is the outlook?
Louro: Hiring a project and doing internal research to start construction. We are still in the process of internal approvals, preliminary projects, etc. It is still too early to make any predictions at this time.
We are talking to clients who may ultimately rush their investment decisions.
Geographically, we strongly believe in the potential of the southern part of the country as an interconnection point for the Southern Cone beyond Brazil.
Colombia and Fortaleza in northern South America already have two of these points. This has proven to be a very good strategy, including with our customers, as we provide interconnections between these points. [the sites].
B-American: Considering the strategic interconnection points, Valparaíso, Chile also has an important international submarine cable, making up the four ‘corners’ of South America for V.tal. Does it make sense to have an edge data center there as well?
Louro: We will go wherever you request us. That said, we have extended the cable from Argentina to Chile and even to Santiago.
Olivieri: At this time, it is difficult to comment on future directions. There was an expansion of this cable, opening as a wholesaler in Chile. The Edge strategy complements V.tal’s overall strategy in the sense that Edge will be another infrastructure pillar.
What makes us different is this entire network, the structure of 3,700 telecom PoPs that have been reworked to work with micro-edge and far-edge computing concepts. The structure is virtually ready-made, so little investment is required.
We plan to expand this network in other cities this year, including land searches, technology evaluations, and alignment of all energy transmission components.
B-American: Is that in your view V.tal’s advantage over its competitors?
Olivieri: absolutely. A big debate about edge computing is how to make this business economically viable. The entire 5G debate is about making this decentralization feasible.
Starting from scratch and building a site without a carrier involved is very complicated. Unless the infrastructure is pre-installed.
We anticipate demand for 4MW edge data centers in select cities. If this bet is correct, we will start banking land, acquiring land, and getting ready to meet demand when it arises.
But this whole structure of PoPs already exists, and all these PoPs are interconnected with a robust fiber network with redundancy and low latency. Adaptation is much faster. On top of that, all of his FTTH deals for fiber-to-the-site with major carriers are factored in.
B-American: How many edge sites are you targeting?
Olivieri: No. We’re talking to operators to determine which of her 3,700 PoPs are relevant to Edge. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg dilemma. Which comes first, the contract to build the site or the contract for the site?
Mapping demand. We want to certify these sites from which operators are ready to come when it matters to their business.