A look at major data center projects in Latin America

Thursday, May 4, 2017

As demand for data soars, so does the need for their storage and handling. And this generates concerns related to information security, disaster management, redundancy, and the evolving maturity of the datacenter services segment in Latin America.

BNamericas looks at some of the region's biggest private and public sector projects involving the construction and revamping of data centers this year.

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In March, US interconnection and data center company Equinix announced the completion of the first of six construction stages of its fifth facility in Brazil and its largest yet in Latin America.

The project is underway and, when finished, it will provide Equinix with capacity of 2,800 racks, twice its current capacity in Brazil. The first phase provides a total capacity of 725 cabinets.

Earlier this week, the company said it concluded its acquisition of 29 data centers and their operations from US-based Verizon Communications.

With the purchase, Equinix adds Bogotá, Culpeper, and Houston, as new markets for its data center portfolio.

The company also said that the acquisition provides additional capacity and an opportunity for expansion in markets where it currently has a presence, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.


Luxembourg-based Millicom's subsidiary Tigo Honduras is looking to build a data center in the country, a considerable investment that will allow it to provide more services to the corporate segment, CEO Santiago Benedit told local press this week.

Benedit did not provide details about the data center, but he noted that the company is committed to its annual investment pace of US$100mn.

Another subsidiary, Tigo Paraguay, is working on the second phase of its first Paraguayan data center, with works scheduled for completion in 2018.


Yet in 2015, Chinese tech giant Huawei signed a MoU with the Chilean government to build the first data center in Latin America designed specifically for housing data collected from space. Construction is yet to begin.

The data center will be used for housing data related to scientific and technological development and to areas of research, including agriculture, medicine, mining and geology. Further details have not yet been announced.


Brazil's Ascenty, one of the leading providers of data center services in Latin America, is currently building a data center in the Chilean capital Santiago, which marks the start of its international expansion.

The data center is slated for completion during the third quarter of this year.

Ascenty is also building a new facility in Rio de Janeiro, which is set to be activated in the fourth quarter.

The unit will have a built area of 5,000m² and the investment amounts to 150mn reais (US$47.1mn). It will be added to the four datacenters the company has in operation and another four under construction in the country.

Ascenty's Campinas data center in Brazil's São Paulo state. Credit: Ascenty


In Brazil's Bahia state, public sector unit SAEB launched a tender to upgrade the state-owned datacenter and deliver new e-government services, among others.

The tender is for US firms and individuals since funding is provided under a US$898,330 grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).


In the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, Angolan state-run company Angola Cables is building a 3,000m2 landing station and datacenter to receive submarine cables.

These include at least two structures: the Monet cable system and a South Atlantic cable system (SACS), connecting Africa and South America.

Angola Cables project


iP connectivity, datacenter and cabling infrastructure provider Level 3 is considering opening data centers in new markets in Latin America.

Level 3 currently operates 17 Latin American sites with data centers.

The company sees 2018 as the most likely date for those plans and it has not yet selected the new countries.

In the region, Brazil has four Level 3 data centers and Colombia has three, with the latest opened in Cali in January last year.

Peru and Chile also host other important Level 3 datacenter sites.

Premium sites are also present in Argentina and Ecuador, while Panama and Mexico host category 2 data centers.