New telecom hotel for T&T

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BitDepth#975 for February 10

Dr Girish Pathak. Photo courtesy Caribbean IXP.
Dr Girish Pathak. Photo courtesy Caribbean IXP.

Dr Girish Pathak has a plan for the technology industry in Trinidad and Tobago.

He’s assembled a roster of investors to fund the establishment of this country’s first carrier-neutral Telecom Hotel, a strictly business to business facility that will offer data center hosting, peering services and business continuity services on a scale suitable for serious technology businesses.

The plan calls for the establishment of a facility operating with a business plan bottomline of US$40 million at the Tamana Industrial Park that will offer co-location services to companies who want professional technical support for their server and technology systems.

“Trinidad has four distinct advantages,” Dr Pathak said in a Skype interview last week.

“In terms of infrastructure, you have some of the best connectivity in the region. Six international cable systems, reaching all the way to Canada and all the way over to Brazil.”

“The power costs are advantageous, and the country is sheltered from hurricanes. We will build a hurricane proof structure, but it’s good not to have to worry about it.”

“And then there’s the strength and stability of the economy. We were looking at two or three competitors in the Caribbean, but the T&T proposal won out.”

The company, Caribbean IXP (Trinidad) Ltd, is probably misnamed. What it will build in T&T is a network access point data center, a support structure for hardware and technology services that looks a lot like the services of Verizon’s NAP of the Americas (http://ow.ly/ICLwy).

The reference point isn’t accidental. Dr Pathak has, over the last 25 years of his involvement in the telecom and software industry worked with several companies, including Verizon who recognised him with its Leslie Warner Award for innovative operation support systems.

He was also responsible for transforming the legacy network of Canada’s Telus Communications into an IP based next generation network.

He’s spent much of the last nine years advising banking and securities companies on the telecommunications industry.

“For IT services, my client in T&T has been TSTT,” he noted.

“I just want to declare that up front.”

But neutral is going to be the keyword for the new project, set to begin client testing in the third quarter of 2016 with full deployment scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.

Caribbean IXP is looking for clients in the banking, energy and telecom sectors.

“It will be carrier neutral hotel for customers,” Dr Pathak said.

“These are clients operating at the very top end of the business quadrants who are likely to be regional operators and of course, the government sector within the region.”

“There are downstream functions that we make efficient and effective for customers. If a bank wants to build a datacentre in the hotel, they would get a robust infrastructure. It’s a wholesale co-location facility.”

“The customer would own the equipment. We will not be providing server services. We are not providing managed services, but our customers will offer them to the retail market.”

Rackspace units will be available in units of ten, for those still curious about the scale of the operation.

“We plan to bring international standards in accounting, security and auditing that IT in T&T has not seen before.”

“We have built Tier III and Tier IV structures in Canada, and I’ve been responsible for as many as six of them.”

“We will be bringing that experience to T&T. Anyone can build a structure; it’s ten years down the road that you will see the advantage of the services.”

“T&T has an opportunity, if it plays right, it could become the hub of ecommerce and could bring 4,000 new high paying jobs to the sector and 2,000 more that will be substitutions.”