Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (MTS), Russia’s largest wireless carrier, today announced the acquisition of 100% of GDTs Energy Group LLC, the owner of the GreenBush data center facility in the Zelenograd suburb of Moscow, Russia, for $71m (RUB 5.2bn).
GreenBush Data Center – Overview
First launched in 2018, the GreenBush data center will have 19 megawatts of power capacity for 2.3k racks in 24 server rooms, once completed. At full build-out, the facility will total 56.2k sqft (5.2k sqm) of floor space.
Currently, the GreenBush facility has completed the first of its three planned modules, with the remaining two expected to be brought online in the near future. When fully built-out, GreenBush will be one of Russia’s five largest data centers by power capacity.
Presently, the GreenBush data center supports 200+ companies.
Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
The GreenBush facility resides in a tax-privileged special economic zone (SEZ) called Technopolis Moscow. Within this territory, which sits ~25 miles (~40 kilometers) outside the Moscow city center, companies have significant tax advantages.
Specifically, this special economic zone (SEZ) offers zero customs duty and zero VAT on imported equipment into the territory. Additionally, companies are charged a reduced income tax rate for the life of the special economic zone (SEZ).
MTS – Data Center Portfolio
MTS is the fourth largest commercial data center operator in Russia, behind Rostelecom (including DataLine), IXcellerate, and DataPro. The company has grown its portfolio by building-out modular data centers and opportunistically acquiring data center assets. For example, MTS previously acquired Avantage (~2.2k racks) and IT-Grad to bolster its data center offerings.
With the GreenBush facility, MTS’ portfolio will grow to 12 major data centers across Russia. Specifically, these facilities include four in Moscow, two in Nizhny Novgorod, and one, in each of Moscow Region, Leningrad Region, Samara, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, and Krasnodar.
MTS plans to use the GreenBush facility’s additional capacity to offer colocation and cloud solutions to third parties. Currently, MTS serves thousands of SME and enterprise clients with private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions.
Overall, the GreenBush data center will enable MTS to grow in the Moscow metro area, which presently accounts for 80% of the Russian commercial data center market.
Additionally, the company intends to use the GreenBush facility to meet its own compute and storage needs.
Russia – Data Center Market
Russia’s data center market will grow 20%+ annually over the next several years, driven by ongoing digitalization of Russian enterprises and the government. Notably, commercial data centers comprise ~10% of total data center capacity in Russia, highlighting the country’s low cloud services penetration.