Malaysian telecommunications firm Telekom Malaysia (TM) is partnering Nxera, the regional data center arm of Singapore-based Singtel’s Digital InfraCo unit, in a joint venture to develop data centers in Malaysia starting with a sustainable, hyper-connected artificial intelligence (AI)-ready data center campus in Johor.

This strategic partnership aims to serve the needs of hyperscalers, next-generation AI application providers and enterprises pursuing accelerated digitalization and cloud in the region, the duo said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the joint venture is a unique proposition, bolstered by the extensive subsea cable networks of TM and Singtel’s Digital InfraCo which provide global connectivity and enhanced network performance with lower latency and improved reliability.

“Establishing a hyper-connected AI-ready data center marks the next phase in our long-standing partnership with Singtel, leveraging our strengths and commitment to elevate ASEAN as the preferred digital hub destination,

“TM brings the largest domestic network infrastructure, extensive international subsea cable systems and the largest interconnected data center in Malaysia, a solid backbone for this project,” said Amar Huzaimi Md Deris, TM’s Group Chief Executive Officer.

According to him, this will serve as a catalyst for high performance computing and lay a solid foundation for the future advancement of cloud and AI applications.

This collaboration of two main telcos in the region is unique and has positive impact to the development of digital ecosystem that not only benefit the businesses but also nurturing future talent, he added.

“Through this partnership, TM continues to demonstrate its dedication to delivering innovative and sustainable solutions, marking a pivotal step in our aspiration to becoming a Digital Powerhouse by 2030,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nxera and Singtel’s Digital InfraCo unit Chief Executive Officer Bill Chang, said they are excited to enter the Malaysian market with TM as their strategic partner.

“This collaboration advances our vision to be the region’s leading sustainable, hyperconnected AI-ready data center platform, supporting businesses with the digital infrastructure needed for the growing demand for cloud, digitalization and AI,” he said.

According to him, the development of this first data center campus in Johor, which can be expanded in phases, demonstrates the firm’s ability to scale quickly in markets that are important to its customers.

“With our joint industry expertise and strong track record, we will build and operate one of the most efficient, sustainable and connectivity-rich data centers in Malaysia,” he noted.

In addition to data centers, he said the firm will be expanding the submarine cable connectivity between Singapore and Johor to enhance digital connectivity.

“Our joint venture will also partner institutes of higher learning in Malaysia to nurture talent for our projects and the industry,

“Our strategy of developing data center sites with close proximity to our operations in Singapore allow us to capture spill-over demand from our customers and help them scale their business with confidence,” he added.

Located in Iskandar Puteri, just 16 km from Singapore, the data center campus will be the largest to date for both TM and Nxera.

It will be built to the latest standards for reliability, security and sustainability while offering the best local and international connectivity.

With its close proximity to subsea cable links between Singapore and Malaysia, the duo opined that the data center will be well-placed to support the increasing demand from both countries’ digitalization and development initiatives.

The initial phase of the data center is planned for 64 megawatt (MW) and can be scaled up to 200MW in response to market demand.

This high-power density campus will be able to host large computing and AI capabilities such as requirements by cloud hyperscalers, GPU-as-a-Service providers and features advanced technologies such as liquid cooling to support high-power density workloads and operations efficiently.

The data center will be a leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED)-certified green building, emphasizing its commitment to greater energy efficiency and sustainable practices.

As Malaysia’s integrated telco and technology leader, TM will contribute its expertise in the region’s network infrastructure deployment to deliver customized range of wholesale data, connectivity, data center and platform solutions catering to both local and international needs.

Additionally, TM also provides cloud services via its sovereign Cloud Alpha Edge solution.

TM currently operates seven data centers across Malaysia with two core data centers located in Klang Valley and Johor.

Its entry into the Asia Link Cable Systems (ALC) partnership facilitates the laying of a submarine cable system spanning approximately 7,200 kilometers (km), with an initial design capacity of 24 Terabits/sec.

Coupled with the establishment of an international Cable Landing Station at TM Exchange Kuala Sedili, Johor, these serve as vital infrastructure enhancements to accelerate the growth of the data center industry in the state.

Nxera is a regional platform backed by Singtel and leading global investment firm KKR, leveraging its data center operations in Singapore to expand overseas.

The firm is developing three new AI-ready data centers in the region in addition to 62MW of existing capacity in Singapore.

This includes a new 58MW data center in Tuas, Singapore and data centers with partners in Indonesia and Thailand.

Nxera’s total pipeline capacity is set to increase from its current operational capacity of 62MW in Singapore to more than 200MW in the region in the next three years.

The data centers will be served by Digital InfraCo’s comprehensive network of subsea fibre-optic cables which provide customers with the best country-to-country connectivity in the Asia Pacific region.

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