Digital transformation is driving the need for more bandwidth across the world and across every vertical, whether healthcare, scientific research, content streaming, education technology, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, as well as business continuity and resiliency services. Everything now demands greater data capacity, connectivity, flexibility, and ease of deployment.
NTT Ltd. was formed to meet the needs of this digital world, providing end-to-end ICT managed services solutions across networks, data centres, security and collaboration. A series of strategic acquisitions has made NTT a global digital solutions provider. This expertise combined with its strong heritage as a communications provider makes NTT well placed to serve the exponential growth in the market for data centre capacity, alongside the adoption of cloud infrastructure and services that will define this decade. Now, it is one of the world’s top three global data centre companies.
Masaaki Moribayashi, the President and Board Director of NTT Ltd., has been with the wider NTT company for over 30 years and overseen much of its growth strategy. He has held leadership positions internationally for NTT in Hong Kong, US, Japan and UK and played a key role in the company’s data centre growth and investment strategy. He joined NTT Ltd. in London in 2019 and took up his current position as President in 2021.
“I have spent much of my career in the data centre industry” says Moribayashi “and have worked in different regions for NTT, building and growing our data centre footprint and infrastructure to allow NTT to serve its clients and help deliver digital transformation across the globe.”
Florian Winkler is the Chief Executive Officer of NTT Global Data Centres EMEA and has 25 years in the ICT sector and 10 years in data centres.
“This is a very dynamic environment,” says Winkler. “I worked for global players like Siemens, and then 10 years at British Telecom. It is useful to have had that experience when developing the data centre division in a corporate setting: it has all the strengths and backing of NTT while preserving the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps us agile and eager for growth. I really enjoy working in a dynamic environment with lots of growth and expansion with the international cooperation we have under the NTT family. That is what excites me — that global presence and the solutions we can bring to help our client’s transform.”
NTT’s history and the rapid creation of a global data centre giant
NTT was a state monopoly founded in 1952, with roots tracing back to the beginning of modern communications. It privatised in 1985 and two years later made history with a stock offering of US$36.6bn.
Today, it is a global telecommunications leader whose actions change our world and with huge strength in its digital backbone. It employs more than 300,000 people in 200 countries and has US$109bn in revenue across its divisions.
NTT Ltd. was launched on July 1, 2019, and has become one of the world’s largest ICT providers and top three data centre providers. It was formed by bringing together 31 brands from a series of acquisitions, amalgamated into one NTT brand for the future of digital transformation.
Major names were folded into NTT’s Global Data Centers division, including e-shelter, RagingWire, Gyron, Netmagic, and NTT Communications Nexcenter. These brands serve every continent and bring together decades of data centre experience and businesses that have allowed NTT to establish its market-leading position. While these acquisitions provided a non-organic growth basis for NTT, its organic investment strategy is now growing its global footprint significantly. In September 2021, it announced a 20% footprint expansion over the following 18 months.
Today, NTT Ltd. has revenue of US$11bn, 40,000 employees, and NTT Group has invested an annual average of US$5bn in research and development for the next five years.
Meeting diverse priorities of sustainability, speed and security in data centre demand
NTT’s Global Data Centers is able to provide retail, wholesale and hyperscale solutions that deliver on the priorities in each region.
“What we call the digital backbone is our fabric between the edge and the cloud,” says Winkler. “Our proposition delivers hybrid IT solutions that include data centre infrastructure that is specific to our client’s security and vertical needs.”
Winkler and Moribayashi have observed how the data centre evolves from region to region, for example, trends, like cloud computing, might emerge in the US for example and then transfer to EMEA and APAC, and today the focus is very much on sustainability.
“Sustainability is a key focus,” says Moribayashi. “A good example is when we started using renewable energies and invested in a solar and wind power plant in India. Meanwhile, our data centres in London use 100% renewable energy and have a unique cooling system, which has significantly reduced the power consumption.”
NTT’s Global Data Centers has committed to the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact that commits the company to operating their data centres in the EU in a climate-neutral way by 2030. Indeed, it is the first large data centre operator in the UK to achieve the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology certification (BREEAM) rating of Excellent for their London 1 site, certifying that it meets the high standards of the world’s longest established environmental assessment methods.
What sets NTT’s Global Data Centers apart from the rest of the industry
NTT’s Global Data Centres has a broad range of clients. However, the majority of their client base is made up of cloud providers and big enterprises, like banks – two industries experiencing worldwide innovation, investment, growth and the promotion and expansion of digital services.
All of them plug neatly into the solution stack that the company has built.
“We are special among the top data centre players in the world,” says Winkler. ”We are the only company that is not just a pure data centre or colocation provider. The strengths of NTT as a company are unprecedented.”
Winkler says this allows NTT to fulfil the changing requirements of any industry.
“This gives us the ability to serve multiple types of clients. We can provide exactly what's good for hyperscalers, but also what’s good for the enterprise market. That's why this service portfolio — combining what we have in data centres with the strength of our network, security and managed services — is compelling because ICT is always transforming.”
“NTT’s Global Data Center Interconnect (GDCI) — an integrated global network fabric service — delivers a cross regional data centre network and private secure connection to major cloud service providers and contributes to client’s digital transformation as a digital backbone. On the mobile side, with private 5G, NTT owns the major mobile company in Japan, so that means we can provide a secure managed network end-to-end from the device to the cloud,” says Moribayashi.
“This is a differentiator for NTT across the data centre and telecoms industries. Telecom competitors don’t operate their own data centres as many spun those operations off some time ago. Data centre companies don’t have the network. We have both. We believe having the secure end-to-end infrastructure provides huge potential for us to serve our clients and communities.”
Building a total solution for our sustainable future through the IOWN initiative
The company is also looking to build a world that transcends the typical constraints of physical connectivity operations, bridging all current infrastructure together. A powerful illustration of this offering is the IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network) initiative, which promises the “total mobilisation of city and mobility” with a roadmap through to 2030 to offer a sustainable and regenerative solution for businesses.
NTT will maximise the benefits of its technologies by building out an all photonics network that will provide end-to-end coordination of ICT resources. Included is a Super White Box that supports the next generation of computing platforms as well as quantum cryptographic communication and traffic flow management: systematically and methodically dealing firmly with issues of latency, security and bandwidth flow that plague international communications.
Through Digital Twin computing and a cognitive foundation, its network will allow for predictive action, analysis and optimisation, marking a complete departure from disaggregated computing, and the entrance of an era of low power consumption, large capacity with high quality, and low latency. The initiative promises 100x less power, 125x greater transmission capacity, and a latency reduction of 200*3. NTT believes this will deliver a sustainability-first world.
NTT is well placed, with its digital backbone, data centre footprint and expertise to provide end-to-end solutions that are secure, sustainable and connected and help their clients across all sectors navigate their digital transformation.