China Telecom's (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) E-Surfing cloud storage service recently had a low-key beta launch. The service is in its second stage of beta, and is currently open only for internal testing by users with invitation codes. Industry rumor had previously held that China Telecom would quietly launch the service in late April. All new users will receive a free 18.9 GB of storage space upon registration during the beta period, and will be eligible for an additional 50 MB of space every time they "check in" and an additional 200 MB of space for every friend they refer to the service. Features of the service currently include pausing and resuming file transfers, private storage space, contact information backup services, photo album-style browsing of uploaded images, and online playback of music and video files. Clients are available for the PC, iPhone, iPad, and Android platforms.
Xie Zhaoyang, GM of China Telecom's cloud computing subsidiary, revealed that the operator received RMB 4.3 bln in revenues from its IDC services in 2011, and predicts revenues of RMB 6 bln this year. The RMB 1.7 bln growth will come from cloud computing, Xie said, and the operator's first move in this area will be the launch of its cloud storage service.
China Telecom officially announced its E-Surfing cloud computing plan in 2009, and launched trials in six areas last, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Sichuan. The operator recently broke ground on a new cloud computing and data center in Inner Mongolia, now under construction.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "China Telecom Tests Cloud Storage Service," MD 3/13/12 issue. The choice of 18.9 GB for the current promotion is for branding purposes, as 189 is China Telecom's brand for various services (e.g. the URL of China Telecom's online portal is 189.cn, China Telecom's e-mail service brand is 189, etc.).