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DITO CME plans to build ‘hyperscaler’ data center

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

DITO CME Holdings Corp. is looking to put up a data center in Clark to service global technology companies, its president said.

“We have been in talks with about three foreign interested partners,” DITO CME President and Director Ernesto R. Alberto told BusinessWorld in a recent virtual interview.

“We are in continuing discussions with foreign partners that will allow us to look at a business model to tap into the hyperscalers, because this [will determine] the viability of [our] investment [to] lure these big locators to the country. These hyperscaler companies serve their customers across… Asia-Pacific and ASEAN,” he added.

He noted it is just a matter of “timing” for the company to move to the next level of its plan, considering the pandemic.

“When the opportunity arises, I think what we can bring to the table in any partnership is we have the real estate, we [also] have internally accomplished it particularly with the telco…, and we have the local expertise that will deliver that,” Mr. Alberto said.

Data center hubs in the region, particularly in Singapore and Hong Kong, are facing challenges. Hong Kong faces geopolitical risks as a result of China’s National Security Law, while Singapore has issued a moratorium to freeze data center construction due to sustainability concerns and landmass shortage.

“There is… opportunity, not only by telcos but also standalone technology companies that are moving away from Hong Kong because they have over-invested there, such as Google and Amazon — particularly US companies — for reasons we already know, and they are looking at the Philippines, amongst many other countries, for data center space. That’s under discussions today,” Mr. Alberto said.

“It’s a good opportunity. It’s just a matter of timing and capital. We do have land assets particularly in Clark, with Udenna Land, Inc. owning the new central business district,” he added.

DITO Telecommunity Corp. and Udenna Land broke ground in April this year on the new telco player’s first data center in Clark Global City, which is poised to become the central business district of North and Central Luzon.

DITO CME, which owns 54% of DITO Telecommunity, handles the Udenna group’s investments in media, communications, entertainment, and information technology. It has three digital companies: Unalytics, which provides managed analytics services; Acuity Global, which curates media properties across platforms and provides media planning and buying; and Luna Academy, an online education platform aimed at equipping users with future-ready skills, credentials, and certificates.

On Friday, DITO CME shares closed 1.19% lower at P6.62 apiece.

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