American Tower buys DataSite, adds two data centers for edge ambitions

American Tower has added two data centers to its portfolio, recently closing the acquisition of DataSite.

 American Tower is now responsible for management and operations of DataSite facilities in Atlanta and Orlando – bringing its total data center tally to nine.

The new locations are metro data centers (for a total of three), which are different but related to six edge data centers in the portfolio that are located at the company’s tower sites and also part of its edge ambitions.  

“These Metro Data Centers are critical to our edge strategy, as they contain the carrier hotel, providing interconnectivity access to internet exchanges and cloud services,” explained Eric Watko, VP of product line management for American Tower, in a statement.

RELATED: Low latency helps fuel bigger 5G opportunity: American Tower CEO

The metro data center in Orlando marks a new presence and is strategically located near an edge site facility American Tower has in Jacksonville, Florida. In Orlando customers also can connect to facilities in Miami with touchpoints to networks across Latin America.

Atlanta is the location of American Tower’s first metro data center acquisition. It purchased and expanded the now 62,000 square-foot ColoATL facility that marked the company’s entrance into the data center space in 2019. It also has an edge data site in the city. With the latest addition in Atlanta, located in Marietta, it has another place where enterprise customers can extend their network with additional connectivity options.

RELATED: American Tower: Neutral host most efficient for edge deployments

Services across the DataSite network include dedicated internet access, carrier-neutral cross-connects, cloud ramps, and point-to-point data center connectivity and cloud options, including WAN and SD-WAN.

“DataSite is in good hands with American Tower,” said Jeff Burges, former president of DataSite. “They have shown a commitment to expanding in this industry and providing our customers the same level of service, with the same team they’ve come to expect.”

RELATED: American Tower dips toe in edge computing space

American Tower officially launched its Tower Edge Center Initiative in 2020, deploying the above mentioned six edge data centers. Along with Atlanta and Jacksonville, those include Austin; Boulder and Denver in Colorado; and Pittsburgh.

The six locations across the U.S. are roughly 360 square-foot facilities with more than 20 customer cabinets at each location.

While it’s still the early days, American Tower has been vocal about the potential market opportunity it sees from leveraging its own distributed tower real estate infrastructure – which come equipped with things like space, storage, security and access to fiber and power – to provide edge data facilities to a variety of customers.

That could include leveraging relationships with cloud players or global operators that want to utilize mini data centers for low-latency edge compute type services down the line, as their own networks become more distributed.

American Tower’s global portfolio includes more than 214,000 communication sites, with over 43,000 of those in the U.S. (though executives in March noted not all sites are going to be ideal, but those likely located closer to highly populated areas have all the right makings).

RELATED: American Tower touts expanded European footprint

Last month the company launched a Data Center Channel Partner program, to expand its market reach for collocation and carrier-neutral data centers.

“To fully realize the potential of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), enterprises must move data processing closer to the edge, where the data is generated and consumed,” said David Fox, director of business development at American Tower. “Our program and Data Centers are well-positioned to help enterprises usher in the next generation of technological advances.”