May 18, 2011 / 1:59 PM / in 7 years

Telus to build Quebec data center

TORONTO (Reuters) - Telus will invest C$105 million ($108.24 million) over the next three years to build a data center in a remote corner of Quebec as it eyes opportunities in cloud computing and unified communications.

Construction is set to start in a few weeks and the center is due to open in 2012, Telus said in a statement on Wednesday.

Telus expects the center, which will be powered in part by hydroelectric power, to answer companies’ “growing need for cloud computing solutions which are becoming a software and infrastructure management priority,” executive Francois Cote said.

Cloud computing refers to the provision of shared resources, software and information to computers and other devices on demand via the Internet. Unified communications is a move to integrate varied services such as instant messaging, telephony and video conferencing and email across a range of devices.

Data centers house servers and allow organizations to cut costs by managing their IT needs remotely.

The center is being built in Rimouski, more than 250 km from the nearest major urban center. Telus already employs more than 1,400 people there.

Telus is not alone in moving to beef up its ability to handle an explosion in remote data usage.

Rival BCE Inc doubled its data handling capacity when it bought a Quebec data center in October for an undisclosed sum. In the same month Rogers Communications said it would pay C$425 million to buy Atria Networks to boost its offering for businesses and government.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp

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