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China Telecom says the new datacentre will be in operation by early 2014

Fixed and mobile operator China Telecom broke ground today on its new cloud computing datacentre in China’s Guizhou Province in the southwest. When completed, the new facility will be one of the largest in the world.

In July this year the telco signed a framework agreement with the local government in a bid to build out the new cloud computing facility. The China Telecom Cloud Computing Guizhou Information Park will cover an area of approximately 33.3 hectares (330,000 m2) and is located near the provincial capital of Guiyang.

The project is expected to cost a total of 7bn yuan ($1.14bn USD). An initial investment of 4bn yuan will cover the first phase of the project, which is expected to include the build out of eight datacentres, one power generation centre, and two support centres.

The facility will go into operation in the first half of 2014.

Commenting on the new facility at the construction inauguration Wang Xiaochu, chairman of China Telecom said the company selected Guizhou because of its climate and particularly, its proximity to abundant energy sources; Guizhou has been known as the “home of coal” in southern China, and has particularly large reserves of coalbed methane which is often used for industrial power applications.

China Telecom says the new cloud computing facility will serve enterprises through a mix of colocation and cloud-based services. The company claims it already has clients ready to move up to 120,000 servers to the new facility which, when completed, will house up to one million servers.

At 330,000 m2 the new cloud computing facility is still nowhere near the size of the Range International Information Hub, a cloud datacentre under construction in Langfang, China that will span roughly 620,000 m(that’s bigger than the US Pentagon) when completed in 2016, but it will still be among the largest in the world and strongly suggests China Telecom has big ambitions for cloud computing and the enterprise market.

The latest announcement comes just a few months after the opening of its cloud datacentre in Inner Mongolia near Beijing, where China’s three telecoms providers (China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile) are together investing 40bn yuan in a 25 square kilometre cloud computing hub.

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