The Proximus Group is the former national telecoms company for Belgium, Belgacom, and is a predominantly state owned business. In June 2015, Belgacom took the name of its amalgamated mobile subsidiary and renamed its entire brand to Proximus.
Proximus offers a range of telecommunications, IT, infrastructure, TV and mobile services through itself and a number of subsidiaries. Business IT services, such as data centre space and consultancy, are offered to both corporate and public sector firms as well as small and medium sized companies.
In addition to traditional data centre space, Proximus offer the Proximus Matrix Cube, a custom-designed, modular and scalable on-site data centre. This offers a low cost, secure data centre option to businesses that cannot fit or afford to build a major data centre but who require on-site data centre facilities.
Infrastructure services provided by Proximus include the Proximus Explore – a private, secure network that can connect large businesses across multiple sites, as well as to the internet, cloud and Proximus data centres. Proximus also recently partnered with Huawei to future-proof its network by developing a 1Tbps super-channel optical transport network (OTN) which can run on the Proximus network backbone. This effectively makes the network 150% more efficient than the existing fibre networks.
Proximus also publishes the online ICT industry magazine, ICTNews, and two business-focussed magazines, One and ICT Solutions. All publications are produced in English, Dutch and French.
Proximus is headquartered in Brussels in Proximus Towers (famous as Belgacom Towers). It owns and operates four data centres – Machelen (Brabant), Huy (Liege) and two in Evere (Brussels). The Evere and Machelen data centres have space available to rent for business.
Proximus also own Telindus Luxembourg, that in turn owns three Tier IV and one tier II-IV data centres in Bettembourg and Bissen respectively.
Proximus data centres offer a good level of security and power availability. Uptime is 99.99%, access is 24/7 and N+1 minimum redundancy, generator back up and automatic fire extinguishing systems provide peace of mind. The space on offer is flexible and clients can opt for quarter or full racks or secure cages.
Proximus was the first Belgian company to sign up to the European Union’s Code of Conduct for energy-efficient data centres. It has since publicly committed to reducing the CO2 emissions across all of its data centres by 70% by 2020. To do this, it has invested heavily in bringing existing data centres up to the highest standards by introducing free-air cooling, hot/cold air containment and recycling warm air.
New data centres have benefitted from energy efficient design from the planning stage. The new Brussels High Density data centre boasts Kyoto Wheel heat exchange, for example. The High Density data centre offers a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of less than 1.5 despite high redundancy and rack power capacity up to 8kw.
In addition to offering 100% renewable energy options and significant energy use reductions across its own data centres, Proximus offers data centre consultancy services to businesses and organisations. These services include advice on improving energy efficiency and reducing energy costs in company owned data centres, as well as advising on ways to outsource services to benefit from Proximus efficiencies.
Proximus NVSA is a public company limited by shares and has been listed on the Euronext stock exchange since 2004. Despite its apparent autonomy, Proximus has always been a state owned company and even today the majority of shares are owned by the Belgian government (53.3% plus 1 share).
The group owns a range of subsidiaries across the IT, mobile and telecoms sector, although many of these were absorbed into the parent company over recent years.
Customers and partners
Proximus offers data centre, cloud and consultancy services to some of the biggest private and public sector companies operating in the Benelux countries. Prominent clients include US recruitment agency Manpower, Pietercil and Caisse Nationale des Prestations Familiales or C.N.P.F of Luxembourg.
Proximus partners with IBM and Microsoft to deliver data centre solutions such as infrastructure and cloud hosting software. Partnership with NetApp and Cisco brings private cloud capabilities to Proximus clients, a partnership which led to Proximus winning NetApps Flexpod Partner of the Year award.
A solid option for Benelux based business
Proximus is a solid, steadily-growing company with the extensive backing of the Belgian Government. Unlike some state-owned monolith’s, Proximus invests heavily in innovation, future proofing and energy efficiency.
Proximus data centres and services are designed for both large and small businesses, with a clear split between services geared towards each type of organisation. Data centres may not be at the fore-front of technical innovation, but they offer enough security, reliability and technical competency to be a good choice for most businesses in the Belgian market.