India’s telecom firm Bharti Airtel wil make in investment of 50 billion rupees ($673 million) for expansion of its data centre operations so that the company is able to satisfy consumer demand in and around India, the company said on Thursday.
The investment will be made by 20205 by its Nxtra business, Airtel Business CEO Ajay Chitkara stated. The company is aiming to set up a network of data centre ecosystem that will span 80 Indian locations. Following the completion of the plan, the company will be abvle to make a three-fold increase in its installed capacity to more than 400 MW.
“There is a huge potential and huge demand (for data centres) which is expected in the next three to four years time,” Chitkara told a virtual news conference.
Currently, 10 large and 120 edge data centres, or smaller data processing facilities, are run by Nxtra all across India.
According to analysts, this expansion of data centres is a part of a strategic shift of telecos to create new streams of revenues to augment revenues from their core businesses as well as to attract corporate clients who typically provide much higher profit margins.
Tis new strategy from Airtel also coincides with traditional voice services being provided competition by apps such as Facebook’s WhatsApp and Signal that provide users with free calling services on the apps.
25 per cent stake of Nextra was purchased last year by an affiliate of the United States based private equity group Carlyle.The rest 75 per cent in the company is owned by Airtel.
According to Naveen Mishra of research firm Gartner, the total public spending in could services is expected to be more than $12 billion by 2025.
In 21019, a partnership with Microsoft was struck by Airtel’s rival Reliance Jio, which is owned and controlled by the Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani. That partnership was aimed at develop and build data centres throughout India. Earlier this year, Jio struck another partnership with Google for increasing the Indian teleco’s enterprise and consumer offerings as the firm targets launching of 5G services.
In a separate strategic move, Airtel said Nxtra has decided to grow the use of green energy for its data centres and has set a target of sourcing about 50 per cent of the power needed ot run the data centres from renewable sources.
(Adapted from FinancialPost,com)