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AT&T to Host Shanghai

AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) will use its global network of hosted data centers to launch business in mainland China and elsewhere and unveil new services based on virtualization.

AT&T plans to open an Internet-connected hosted data center in Shanghai later this year in an attempt to tap into that countrys technology boom, according to Mike Jenner, vice president of AT&T’s hosting and application management service. While AT&T opened a hosted data center in Hong Kong in 2003, the one in Shanghai will be its first effort on the mainland.

The news reflects fresh activity in AT&T's hosting business, which caters to large enterprises and businesses interested in outsourcing data center requirements. AT&T's Data and Internet Protocol & Enhanced (IP&E) Services, which include managed services and hosting, accounted for $2.1 billion of AT&T's $5.2 billion business revenues when it announced its quarterly results last week (see AT&T Boosts Q2 Profit).

Jenner expects a range of companies to host their hardware, software, and applications at the site in Shanghai. He won't reveal its size, but he confirms it will offer the same services as 26 other AT&T Internet Data Centers elsewhere in the world.

The market in China could be big for AT&T. Although India has grabbed most of the offshoring headlines in recent years, China is catching up fast. Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, for example, expects the gap between the two countries to narrow, thanks to a number of IT-friendly initiatives undertaken recently by the Chinese government (see Global Outsourcing Gains Momentum).

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