Bharti Airtel on Thursday announced the launch of its rebranded business unit ‘Nxtra by Airtel’ which will focus on developing data centres in the country. The telecom giant also announced that the company will invest ₹5,000 crores to scale up its data centre business to meet the rapidly increasing customer demand in and around the country by 2025. Airtel assumes that the data centre business in India could grow into a $4 billion market in the next four years.
At a virtual press conference launching the new brand identity, Ajay Chitkara, director and CEO of Airtel Business, said “Airtel has built the largest data centre network in India and we are now doubling down on this business to scale up our network that will be at the core of 5G and Digital India.”
Revealing the aim of Airtel’s new business unit, Chitkara commented, “Our experience of operating secure data centres, deep brand trust in the enterprise segment and the ability to deliver end-to-end digital transformation solutions positions us well to serve the emerging requirements of India’s connected economy. The new brand identity embodies this vision and ambition.”
Chitkara stated that the ₹5000 crore investment is being made by Nxtra with plans to build a data centre economy across 80 cities in India, adding that the move will triple its currently installed capacity to more than 400 MW. “We are making a fresh investment of ₹5,000 crores 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,” the CEO stated.
“There is a huge potential and huge demand (for data centres) which is expected in the next three to four years time,” he further stated.
According to Airtel, the investment will see the addition of 7 hyperscale data centre campuses in the country to facilitate its plan to expand capacity to 400MW, which will not only meet the growing demand from within India but will also cater to demand from neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal.
Sustainability will continue to remain a key focus area for Airtel as it is planning to increase the share of renewable, green power in running data centres to 50% from 35% at present.