Bharti Airtel will invest Rs 5,000 crore over the next 3-4 years in its newly-launched data centre business in an effort to triple its capacity.
Airtel will scale up its data centre capacity through Nxtra by Airtel, a new business unit focusing solely on the data centre business. The telecom giant believes the data centre business could grow into a $4 billion market in the coming four years. Nxtra currently operates 10 large and 120 edge data centres located across India, added a Financial Express report.
Bharti Airtel said that its plan to scale up the data centre business is focused on serving the requirements of India’s fast-growing digital economy. “Nxtra by Airtel aims to be at the forefront of this growth and plans to invest Rs 5,000 crores by 2025 to further scale up its industry-leading network of hyperscale and edge data centres. This will include new data centre parks in key metro cities. The investment will triple Nxtra by Airtel’s installed capacity to over 400 MW to meet the surging demand and consolidate its network leadership,” Airtel said.
The report further added that the proposed investment will see the addition of 7 hyperscale data centre campuses. The plan to increase capacity will not only facilitate growing demand from within India but will also cater to demand from neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, among others. The company added that cloud adoption, growing economy and internet penetration, government initiatives, and 5G technology are some of the key drivers of data centre demand.
Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business said that India could become a data hub in the coming year with SAARC countries moving their workloads to India. Data Centres are power guzzling units, which Airtel believes could convince smaller countries in Asia to shift their workload to India, which has the capacity to manage the power-hungry data centres. Airtel added that it already has customers from other Asian countries.
To keep carbon emissions at the lowest possible even with the planned expansion, Airtel plans to switch 50 per cent of its units to green power. Airtel said that Nxtra is already aggressively scaling up the use of green energy for its data centres and aims to source 50 per cent of the power requirements of these centres through renewable sources as part of Airtel’s overall GHG emission reduction targets.