Airtel Invests in Data Centers for 5G Uptake

Image credit: iStockphoto/Surya Nair

Leading Indian telco Airtel plans to expand its data center capacity by as much as 500% from the current 100 MW. The company is looking to take advantage of the increase in demand for data centers from the payments industry while preparing for the launch of its 5G services. 

Through its subsidiary, Nxtra Data, Airtel will build up to eight data centers, each with up to 100 MW of power. Some of these would be in Pune and Mumbai, where the company has multiple buildings in one park.

Airtel plans to help its clients land their content on Indian shores using its submarine cables and host it in its data centers. It is looking to move some of the data to its edge centers in smaller cities across the country.

Airtel has close to 130 data edge centers which, together with its ten large data centers, have a total capacity of 100 MW.

The company has segregated its customers into large Internet companies which require significant capacity, such as several floors of a data center. The second customer category is those companies that need their entire IT operations built and managed as they migrate to the cloud.

The third category is companies shutting down their in-house IT ecosystems and are outsourcing to a data center. This category is the biggest driver of the data center business in India.

“The collaboration is part of Airtel’s 5G road map for India as it transforms its networks to allow its customers to reap the full possibilities of the hyperconnected world, where Industry 4.0 to cloud gaming and virtual/augmented reality become an everyday experience,” Airtel said in a statement.

As part of the collaboration, Airtel will deploy Intel’s latest third-generation Xeon Scalable processors and other components across its network to build a foundation for rolling out wide-scale 5G, mobile-edge computing, and network slicing.

Image credit: iStockphoto/Surya Nair