Mumbai, the data centre hub of the country
India is poised for massive growth in the data centre industry, with Mumbai topping the list, according to a report by real estate consulting firm CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd. According to the report, India has seen data centres grow across key cities including Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. However, it is Mumbai that has led the way with 35 data centres, as it is one of the global cable landing locations in the country.
Cable landing stations or submarine cables are vital international telecommunication links between countries across the world, making them an essential element in telecommunication services including broadband connectivity. Mumbai currently has four of the 10 cable landing stations in the country. Mumbai is followed by Bengaluru and NCR region with 27 and 19 data centres, respectively.
According to the study, a growing economy, rapidly expanding consumer base, increasing domestic and international demand from corporates, presence of skilled workforce and infrastructural development are some factors responsible for promoting India as a potential data centre hub. The growing reliance on internet services and advanced technologies for data management have provided further impetus for high-quality data centres.
Further, the widening net of e-commerce in India is expected to further boost the growth of data centres. Other demand drivers include the government’s smart city initiative and the rapid adoption of technologies like the internet of things (IoT), cloud services and big data analytics. Despite having immense potential to become a data centre hub in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, the report also identifies several challenges. For one, several states in India are yet to formulate policies for this segment. Additionally, cumbersome approval processes for the acquisition of infrastructure and prolonged environmental clearances also need to be addressed. The report also highlights testing the viability of a data centre’s location for high-seismic zoning, probability of floods, and extreme heat conditions–all of which could be a huge deterrent for players looking to set up centres in certain cities.