Bharti Airtel Limited, through its subsidiary Nxtra which owns the largest network of data centers in India, today announced that it will triple Nxtra’s data center capacity to 400+ megawatts by 2025, as part of a $673m (50bn Indian Rupees) investment push into hyperscale facilities. Presently, Nxtra by Airtel operates 10 core and 120+ edge data centers located across India and also manages subsea cable landing stations.

Nxtra by Airtel – Hyperscale Data Center Expansion

Beyond Nxtra by Airtel’s current core and edge data centers, the company is building 7 new hyperscale data center campuses in the markets of Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Noida, and Bengaluru.

Nxtra by Airtel Hyperscale Data Center Map

In aggregate, these data center campuses will comprise 343 megawatts of IT power / 41.7k racks across 3.6 million sqft. Upon completion of this hyperscale data center build-out, Nxtra by Airtel’s total data center portfolio will encompass 400+ megawatts of power capacity and 68k+ racks.

Pune II – Operating

Nxtra’s Pune II facility is located at Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, Hinjawadi. Overall, the facility comprises 21 megawatts of IT power / 2.2k racks across 200k sqft.

Chennai II – Operating

Nxtra’s Chennai II facility is located in the suburb of Siruseri. Overall, the four-story facility comprises 24 megawatts of IT power / 3.0k racks across 12 data halls and 270k sqft. Finally, Nxtra is targeting a design power usage effectiveness (PUE) of <1.5.

Mumbai – Development

Nxtra’s Mumbai data center site is located at Thane-Belapur Road, Navi Mumbai. Overall, the facility will comprise 58 megawatts of IT power / 7.5k racks across three towers comprising 600k sqft. Finally, Nxtra is targeting a design power usage effectiveness (PUE) of <1.5.

Pune III – Development

Nxtra’s Pune III data center site is located in the suburb of Hinjewadi. Overall, the facility will comprise 110 megawatts of IT power / 12.5k racks across 1 million sqft.

Kolkata – Development

Nxtra’s Kolkata data center site is located at Bengal Silicon Valley, New Town. Overall, the facility will comprise 10 megawatts of IT power / 1.5k racks across 150k sqft.

Hyderabad – Development

Overall, the Hyderabad facility will comprise 40 megawatts of IT power / 5.0k racks across 450k sqft.

Noida III – Development

Overall, the Noida III facility will comprise 40 megawatts of IT power / 5.0k racks across 450k sqft.

Bengaluru II – Development

Overall, the Bengaluru II facility will comprise 40 megawatts of IT power / 5.0k racks across 450k sqft.

Nxtra by Airtel – Positioning for Growth

Nxtra and Bharti Airtel are seeking to take advantage of India’s data center sector which is expected to grow from ~450 megawatts to 1,074 megawatts of installed capacity by 2023. Important recent initiatives to position the company for growth include it focus on sustainability, hyperscale customers, and equity funding from the Carlyle Group.

Sustainability

Nxtra by Airtel is increasing its use of green energy for its data centers and targets sourcing 50% of its power requirements for its hyperscale data centers through renewable sources. To this end, Nxtra by Airtel recently commissioned captive solar power plants in India’s states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Customers

Nxtra by Airtel provides data center services to hyperscale companies, large Indian enterprises, start-ups, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and governments.

Ownership

In July 2020, the Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm, through its fund CAP V Mauritius Limited and entity Comfort Investments II, invested $235m in Nxtra Data Limited, equating to an enterprise value for the Nxtra business of $1.2bn.

As a result, Carlyle Group received a 25% stake in the Nxtra data center business. Accordingly, Bharti Airtel continues to hold the remaining 75% ownership interest in Nxtra.

Competitors

Over the past 12 months, numerous global data center operators have made announcements about their entry into India’s data center market. Specifically, these announcements have come from Yondr Group, Digital Realty, Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust), STT GDC, Iron Mountain, EdgeConneX, and Equinix.

Mary Zhang covers Data Centers for Dgtl Infra, including Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX), Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR), CyrusOne (NASDAQ: CONE), and CoreSite Realty (NYSE: COR). Within Data Centers, Mary focuses on the sub-sectors of hyperscale, enterprise / colocation, cloud service providers, and edge computing.

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