1. Increasing interest for prefabricated modular data centres to cope with the expected data boom in developing countries. Developing countries are next in line for a data boom, but infrastructure is a big challenge. High quality, efficient data centres are essential to house and power all the equipment needed for transmission of data, but traditional brick and mortar data centres take a lot of time to plan, co-ordinate and construct in most developing countries. Instead, many operators are choosing pre-fabricated modular data centres. They are flexible, energy efficient and much quicker to deploy and will in most cases save considerable time and money compared to brick and mortar buildings. We will see an increasing number of mobile operators, ISPs and other companies owning their own data centres choosing prefabricated modular data centres in 2014 – and not only in developing countries.
2. Tower companies focusing on reliability and OPEX. Specialised tower companies taking over ownership and/or management of telecom sites from mobile operators is already a very strong trend that will accelerate yet further in 2014. Providing fully managed sites to operators on a leased basis as its core business, tower companies will put renewed focus on the reliability of power equipment and lowering the cost of operations – with green power solutions reducing diesel fuel consumption in an ever-increasing number of locations.
3. Tower companies will evolve beyond telecom sites. Without being fully established in all markets, tower companies are set to transform themselves into another breed of infrastructure owners. During 2014, especially in emerging markets, we will see tower companies taking broader ownership of ICT infrastructure, such as data centres. In principle there is little difference between being a tower company renting out space at a telecom site or being a hosting company providing rack space and power in a data centre. Some tower companies will consequently take advantage of the accelerating growth in data traffic and simply evolve to become ICT infrastructure owners.
David King, CEO, Flexenclosure
David King is CEO of Flexenclosure, a specialist developer of hybrid power systems and pre-fabricated data centres for the ICT industry. Mr. King has decade-long experience from C-level work with many international high-tech companies, many in emerging markets. See www.flexenclosure.com.