Q&A: Michael Wheeler, EVP of NTT Communications Global IP Network at NTT America

Q&A: Michael Wheeler, EVP of NTT Communications Global IP Network at NTT America

Capacity Latam 2015: NTT's Michael Wheeler discusses the strategic importance of Latin America this year, and some of the trends he expects to hit the region.

What are your strategic priorities in Latin America for 2015?

The Latin American market is very important to NTT Communications. We have been working with regional Latam providers of internet services (ISPs), content (ICPs) and internet-based businesses for several years. 

Since establishing a Point-of-Presence (PoP) in Sao Paulo in 2011, NTT Com has been providing best in class connections to international markets through our Tier-1 global IP Network. 

The Latin American market is among our highest strategic priorities as we are always evaluating expansions and new markets.


What major trends do you see occurring in the Latin American market this year?

The major trend for the Latin American market will continue to be the exponential growth in broadband access. This growth will be fuelled by the continued modernisation of the infrastructure which in turn spurs increased demand. 

Not surprisingly Brazil, hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games, is experiencing much of this investment and growth, but Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, and other countries are seeing impressive industry-related growth as well. 

Latin American countries are making this concerted effort to expand access while simultaneously seeking to lower broadband costs.

Other major trends include the growing concern for security, including the ability to mitigate DDoS attacks, the investment in software-enabled connectivity to support flexible and scalable networks in a fully automated SDN environment, and the coming transition to 100G technologies.


What do you hope to achieve by attending Capacity Latam 2015?

NTT Com hopes to share and learn at Capacity Latam 2015. We will be participating in the keynote panel “FIFA World Cup 2014: What did we learn and what can we expect looking ahead to the 2016 Olympics?” on Tuesday March 17 as well as in the session “How can regulation encourage further development in the Latin American telecommunications market” on Wednesday March 19, and we are proud to provide insight and leadership on the key issues shaping the broadband and IP transit industry in the Latam region.

We also look forward to meeting with current and potential customers to learn more about their needs and how our high-capacity infrastructure, global reach, financial resources and industry expertise can help meet their demands for wholesale IP transit in the region.


What are some of the challenges of operating in the Latam market?

Wholesale business models across the world are evolving and the Latam market is not immune to these changes. Global IP providers are facing the challenge of moving from traditional revenue streams to new models that take into consideration the adoption of emerging technologies as well as a more competitive landscape.

Meanwhile, the Latam market is unique in many respects; the individual countries' needs, economic conditions, infrastructure and regulations are varied and diverse - there is no unified market. 

And with the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, as with the 2014 FIFA World Cup, international carriers will once again be crucial in helping to meet Latam's connectivity needs. 

The Olympics is a high-profile international event that will generate large volumes of video content streamed out globally. The world will literally be watching so there can be no compromise in quality and reliability.

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