The TDF Group is one of France’s biggest communications and broadcasting infrastructure providers and is responsible for bringing TV and radio to around 85% of France’s households. TDF also hosts equipment for the four big mobile operators, offers colocation services via a small data centre network and operates an ultra-high speed fibre optic network.
TDF has been a mainstay in the French communications and broadcasting market for more than forty years, yet data centres and network infrastructure are a relatively new offering. Having struggled to maintain pace with rapid developments in technology over recent years, TDF has found new vision and growth opportunities under new ownership.
Cashing in on huge demand for data centre space in France was an obvious leap for TDF. It has infrastructure, experience and a strong regional presence around France – the perfect recipe for a network of data centres offering regional colocation services on a high-speed backbone network.
TDF’s vision was to capitalise on existing regional real estate and extensive power capacities, much of which still remains from pre-digital TV. Its target markets for colocation and hosting services are IT firms, data centre operators, large organisations and corporations.
TDF now owns four data centres (all built between 2013 and 2015) and in June 2015, it was awarded the European Data Centre Award for Data Centre Service Provider.
TDF Group is based in France, with subsidiaries in Poland, Estonia, Sweden, Spain and Monaco. The recently acquired subsidiary QBrick also runs offices from Finland, Denmark and Norway. The head office is located in Montreuse in the Southern Paris suburbs (around 2 miles from central Paris) and the head offices of its four French subsidiaries are in Paris too.
TDF operate four data centres under the ProxiCenter brand name. These are located in in Rennes (Cesson Sevigne), Bordaeux (Bouliac), Aix-en-Province (Les Milles) and Lille (Lambersart). Proxicentre Rennes, the fourth and so far final data centre opened in 2014 at a cost of EUR10million. It offers 132 bays across 450sqm of floor space. The third of TDF’s data centre network, Aix Marseille, was also opened in 2014 and provides space for 176 racks across 1700sqm.
All four of TDF’s ProxiCenters are carrier neutral and offer access to TDFs own high speed fibre network. All feature dual power supplies, high security access including CCTV and biometric readers, early fire detection, 24/7/365 support and anti-intrusion systems too.
TDF claims to be environmentally conscious and implements measures to reduce its environmental impact where possible and practical. All of its data centres benefit from free air cooling technology and other measures to reduce its carbon footprint. TDF has signed up to the European Code of Conduct for Data Centres and is planning to have all of its data centres officially certified.
In May 2015, Crédit Agricole Assurances acquired a 10% stake in TDF through its subsidiary Predica. It joined fellow shareholders Brookfield Infrastructure (45%), APG, Arcus Infrastructure Partners and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (together 45%).
The new owners acquired the business from TPG and fellow investors. The former owners purchased the company prior to the 2008 financial crisis and wanted to recoup some of the losses made during that period. The new investors bring extensive infrastructure expertise and service diversification (into data centres) to the table.
Customers and partners
TDF has many prominent customers and partners, many of which cross over from its broadcasting and media services. Some clients of note include Bordeaux-based internet hosting company Systonic, health data hosting provider SIB and the ecommerce portal Cdiscount. In 2014, TDF partnered up with Ciena to upgrade and expand its fibre optic infrastructure to a 1tb ultra-high speed network.
An established French company with big ideas for growth
TDF is a communications company that has struggled to make it through the significant technological challenges the industry has faced over the past decade. It has emerged in 2013 with fresh owners and a fresh outlook. The new direction into data centres is a logical leap for a company with TDF’s infrastructure and brings new regional data services to France that currently few companies are able or willing to offer.
For businesses in France, TDF has a solid history and a positive outlook for the future. More expansion is planned for the next year to meet surging demand for data housing services across regional France, with TDF hoping to own ten data centres in total by 2016. As a company in growth mode with a ready market that is hungry for data centres, all the signs are positive that TDF will flourish and be able to offer better services as it grows.