LuxConnect and Proximus officially unveiled a new cloud service on Wednesday, marking a unique Luxembourg-Belgium joint venture.

Clarence is designed to provide companies and government entities with a secure data storage solution within Luxembourg, akin to a digital safe, using LuxConnect's data centres in Bissen and Bettembourg.

In March, agreements were signed in the United States, with Google pledging to establish a "meaningful presence" in Luxembourg. Now, this commitment is being fulfilled, as affirmed by Paul Konsbrück, General Director of LuxConnect.

While recent reports had cast doubt on the status of Google's data centre project in Bissen, Konsbrück suggests that there are clear indicators that the project is still very much alive. He added that there is currently a lot of interest from various sectors, including industry, healthcare, and defence.

The pioneering service leverages Google's foundational technology, offering access to 90% of Google's applications while maintaining a distinct separation from Google's cloud infrastructure. In essence, there is no direct link between Google and the client, ensuring that Google has no access to the stored data. Even updates are executed through a designated operator, in collaboration with a European partner.

This partner is Proximus, a company primarily owned by the Belgian state.

While the cloud service has already garnered considerable interest, it is yet to become fully operational. Gérard Hoffmann, General Director of Proximus Luxembourg, elaborated on the remaining steps necessary to bring the project to fruition, which include hardware acquisition, followed by software installation. However, Hoffmann was hesitant to give an exact date, pointing out that delivery timelines within the industry have become "challenging."

LuxConnect and Proximus expect the sovereign disconnected cloud to be operational by mid-2024 at the earliest.