Robert Wallin, Telecom Industry Banker, spoke at the 16th annual DataCloud Global Congress in Monaco. The event, known to be the premier leadership summit for critical IT infrastructure, was attended by more than 1,500 senior managers and c-suite executives from Vendors, SubSea, Data Center, Fiber, Tower Operators, Investors, OTTs and Financial Institutions.
Speaking about “China’s digital silk way”, Robert and his fellow panelists discussed how data center demand will grow rapidly in the emerging market, how China might be supporting a digital silk road, and how necessary investments in Telecom Infrastructure for large populations such as India and Indonesia will be financed. They concluded that no single asset operator, investor or financial institution is able to single-handedly take on and manage investments of this magnitude.
Hence, new collaboration models need to be developed between fixed & mobile operators, tower and data center operators and infrastructure investors. Natixis, with its strong expertise in Telecom Infrastructure Finance, can be an important contributor to this development.
Overall, the key messages from the conference were that:
- Data center and transportation demand is still greater than current supply – and the demand for data centers is still growing significantly with the proliferation of bandwidth hungry applications in both fixed and wireless networks globally; Markets in Asia Pacific are still growing the fastest.
- The 5G build out will be coming next, but it will vary in timing from market to market.
- Demand for data center capacity at the edge of networks will be of such a magnitude that no single player in the Infrastructure market can afford it alone. This is largely due to the fact that when telecom operators decide to roll out 5G beyond the smaller launches that we have seen up to now, that is to create the ability for latency sensitive applications such as medical applications and much hyped self-driving cars, the number of antennas and the ability to manage large volumes of data at the edge of the network (i.e. close to the end-user rather than in remote data centers) will increase significantly.