The "giant" behind the only Vietnamese telecommunications infrastructure company with foreign shareholder

As Malaysia's leading private telecommunications group, Time dotCom continues to leave its mark on Vietnamese market as the foreign carrier with a successful investment of $12 million in 2015 in CMC Telecom - currently a leading provider in the Vietnamese telecommunications technology community.

From the telecom challenger in Malaysia…

Founded in 1996, Time dotCom Berhad (Time) is currently the No.2 private telecommunications carrier in Malaysia, with market capitalization of more than 2 billion USD. As a private business, Time is now considered the "challenger" to Telekom Malaysia - the state-owned telecom business of Malaysia. After more than three decades, Time has firmly established its leading position in the field of network infrastructure, both at home and abroad, offering a 100% fiber optic network and providing millions of Malaysian with stable and high-speed connection.  


Time dotCom is the 2nd largest private telecommunications company in the Malaysian market

Time's influence in Southeast Asia is also reflected in its critical contributions to the supply of international bandwidth through cross-country fiber optic network connecting to Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia - where Time has established strategic connection points (POP). With the connectivity strategy to become the "gateway to Asia", Time has further increased its global presence by cooperating with international telecommunications giants to develop submarine fiber optic cable infrastructure. Since 2008, Time has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in UNITY (the Trans-Pacific submarine communications cable system), then FASTER, APG and AAE-1, allowing for seamless connection between Asia and the world.

Leveraging its robust network infrastructure, Time continued to invest in data centers through its subsidiary, AIMS Group. AIMS is currently running 35 MW data centers (DC) in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Cyberjaya (Malaysia) and Bangkok (Thailand). In which, the Kuala Lumpur DC is where the Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) is located. These DCs are the only data centers in Malaysia ranked by Cloudscene in top 10 DCs of the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, they are providing hosting service to every Hyperscaler, OTT and Tech Giant in the world.

AIMS Data Center in Cyberjaya, Malaysia with more than 35 MW of power capacity

In April, Time formed a strategic partnership with DigitalBridge Group, a leading digital infrastructure company based in the US. This "transcontinental handshake" will help Time expand its connectivity and build a global DC ecosystem to penetrate new markets and provide high-end data center solutions.

In addition, Time is also holding 60% of shares at AVM Cloud Sdn Bhd - a leading cloud computing service provider in Malaysia and one of the leading VMware service providers in Southeast Asia. Time is demonstrating a strong commitment to providing modern and comprehensive digital infrastructure and technology solutions to customers.

With the vision to build a global telecommunication technology network, Time especially focuses on the ASEAN market through making investments and establishing cooperation and partnership with leading telecommunications service providers and data centers in the region. After becoming an investor of Symphony Communications Limited in Thailand, Time continued to affirm its importance in promoting technology development and connectivity in the region as a strategic shareholder of CMC Telecom in Vietnam.

... to the rare successful million-dollar deal of a foreign carrier

In 2015, Time officially acquired 25% stake in CMC Telecom with a total value of 12 million USD.  With this deal, the Malaysian telecommunications giant set foot in the S-shaped strip of land for the first time. Also, this is the first time that a Vietnamese telecommunications infrastructure company sells its shares to a foreign strategic shareholder.

Talking about why Time chose to invest in CMC Telecom, a representative of the company said: "Both are private companies that understand the challenges in the regional telecommunications market. And since their inceptions, both have been aiming at high-end customers, especially those in Banking and Finance - the industry seen as the lifeblood of a nation's economy".

At that time, foreign carriers such as KDDI, Mitsui (Japan), SK Telecom (South Korea), Hutchison Telecom (Hong Kong) or Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan) making investment in Vietnamese carriers was not news to the market; however, none of them reaped the desired result, and thus soon had to leave. Unlike them, the strategic harmony brought success to the cooperation between Time and CMC Telecom.

18 months after shaking hands with Time dotCom, at the end of 2016, CMC Telecom started to exploit APG, the international submarine cable system. This fiber optic network is capable of providing bandwidth of 54Tb/s and Internet connection speed nearly 20 times faster than the old AAG.

Soon after APG, CMC Telecom immediately deployed an even bigger project. In early 2017, with the support of Time, the company started the project to build Cross Vietnam Cable System - CVCS with a total length of more than 2,500 km (from Lang Son to Tay Ninh). This cable system passes through 19 provinces and cities of the country and has a total investment of more than 500 billion VND. CVCS is the only Vietnamese cable system to directly connect to the A Grid - the mainland cable system of Southeast Asia, officially including Vietnam in the regional network via the connection to Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand. This is also the cable system that helped Vietnamese enterprises to stay connected to the world during the severe sea cable incident early in the year.

"Time has been building and expanding its connectivity in order to become the gateway to ASEAN. We will continue to work closely with CMC Telecom to soon achieve this goal", said Patrick Corso, CEO of Time.

With the support from Time whose forte is building international standard data center, CMC Telecom proceeded to build Tan Thuan Data Center - the first data center of Vietnam to obtain Uptime Tier III certification in terms of both Design and Facility, and has put it into operation since August 2021. Seen as the most modern and secure DC in Vietnam, the facility is also where Time sets up a PoP to connect to the DC ecosystem owned by AIMS.

CMC Tan Thuan Data Center is the first data center of Vietnam to obtain Uptime Tier III certification in terms of both Design and Facility

Following in Time’s footsteps to expand its business to Cloud, CMC Telecom became the first partner chosen by big names like AWS, Google and Microsoft when they penetrated Vietnamese market. At the same time, The company has also successfully developed its own cloud computing platform - CMC Cloud, which has become the leading domestic cloud service in Vietnam, holding more than 25% of market shares by mid-2023.

In Time DotCOM's 2022 annual report, CMC Telecom is mentioned right in the first pages as one of its two critical partners in Southeast Asia with continuous revenue growth. According to CMC Telecom's financial statements, the company's revenue increased from 830 billion VND in 2015 to 2,500 billion VND in 2022, i.e. over 300%, and the growth rate of 25-30% shall be maintained in the next 5 years.