American Tower, the world’s largest owner of wireless infrastructure, has made its first acquisition in the data center sector by buying Colo Atl, a colocation and meet-me room business in downtown Atlanta.

The deal isn’t huge by data center standards, as Colo Atl operates about 26,000 square feet of colocation space across two floors. But it marks the arrival of an intriguing new player on the data center acquisition scene, as American Tower reveals its strategic interest in the interconnection business.

The deal continues the growing overlap between the data center and wireless worlds, a trend we first noted in our 2018 forecast (8 Trends That Will Shape the Data Center Industry in 2018). With the emergence of edge computing, a growing number of wireless companies have been acquiring assets in the data center sector, preparing for a future with greater integration between data centers, telecom towers and antennas.

American Tower has been actively exploring opportunities in edge computing. Much of this planning is focused on monetizing edge capacity at its thousands of tower sites, but the Colo Atl acquisition could be a bet that the earliest edge growth may involve creating denser networks in cities. The company says it will use the acquisition to “evaluate the interconnection marketplace directly as a complement to future edge data center growth.”

Read full article by Data Center Frontier’s Rich Miller here.