Airtel's Nxtra to invest Rs 5K cr to revamp data centre

Airtel's Nxtra to invest Rs 5,000 cr to triple data centre capacity by 2025

The company will set up 7 hyperscale campuses and increase the share of green power in running data centres to 50 per cent from 35 per cent at present

Credit: Reuters File photo.

Bharti Airtel's subsidiary Nxtra on Thursday said it will invest Rs 5,000 crore to triple its data centre capacity by 2025.

The company will set up 7 hyperscale campuses and increase the share of green power in running data centres to 50 per cent from the present 35 per cent.

"We are making a fresh investment of Rs 5,000 crore to expand our data centres. Some of the work has already started. As an organisation we are trying to build an ecosystem which will cover 70 more cities," Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business said while sharing business expansion details.

The company is already operating 10 large data centres and over 120 edge data centres, which are set up close to target markets, and claims to have been covering 70 cities in the country.

Nxtra plans to add 40 megawatt capacity in the existing data centres in the next 5-6 months.

"We will be building 7 large hyperscale data centres. These are not just data centres but data centre campuses that we are going to build," Chitkara said.

The company is setting up new data centres in Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Noida and Kolkata. Nxtra expects Chennai data centre to go live by October, Mumbai in the next 18 months and Kolkata by 2024.

The company is building the largest data centre in Pune.

"Kolkata is one of our growth areas. It will also become (data centre) hub for neighbouring countries. We are targeting to build all these data centres in the next 3-4 years," Chitkara said.

He said India is expected to become a hub of data centres in the next three years with some of the SAARC countries and Asia Pacific countries.

"In the next few years, full cloud adoption will be accelerated and there will be huge demand for data centres in India. Still 30-40 per cent of the data is sitting outside the country which we can bring in with new policies. The whole experience of customers can be improved and eventually that data needs to be stored in the country which will increase the adoption of data centres in the country," Chitkara said.

He said that new technologies like 5G, IoT and growth in the economy are going to increase per capita data usage in the coming days.

According to a JLL report, the Indian data centre industry is expected to more than double its installed capacity from an approximate 450 MW to 1074 MW by 2023.

Chitkara said Nxtra earnings and Carlyle investments will be utilised for funding the expansion.

"If any more cash is needed then we will go to market and generate the funds," he said. 

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