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Japanese telco NTT to invest $3.5 billion in Indian data centres

The money marks a steep increase in the telco's investment compared to recent years

NTT, Japan’s biggest telecoms company, is set to invest $3.5 billion (£2.8 billion) into India’s digital infrastructure over the next seven years.

The investment will be staggered in $500 million (£404 million) chunks each year over the time period, as reported by Nikkei Asia.

NTT's investments will mainly be focused on digital infrastructure, with some of the money also going towards building nine new data centres, although it’s unclear exactly how much it will spend in this area. This would bring the telco’s capacity to 300 MW, almost double what it currently has.

Data centre power is measured in megawatts (MW), with the more MW present at a facility, the more infrastructure that can be deployed. Due to advancements in server technology, it’s harder to work out how many servers are deployed if data centres are measured in the physical space available, such as square feet, so it has become more common to measure the energy consumed instead.

NTT is also looking to construct subsea cable landing stations in the Indian cities of Mumbai and Chennai in 2023. The venture forms part of its digital infrastructure investment into the country. The new investment is a step up from the $800 million (£647 million) the company invested in India from 2021 to 2022.

As of May 2022, the company had launched a data centre in Mumbai and was expected to open eight more around the country, according to the Economic Times.

It already had 12 sites across India, in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Delhi, totalling a 220 MW capacity. In 2021, the company revealed it was intending to invest $2 billion into the country on data centres, networks, and solar projects, reported Data Center Dynamics

IT Pro has contacted NTT for comment.

Japan’s domestic market is shrinking, causing some companies to look overseas for other markets for their investments. This has been fuelled by an ageing population, the weak yen, and the impact of the pandemic.

In October 2022, NTT launched NTT Data to control the company’s international overseas operations. At the time, the company said that NTT Data would have a total revenue of around $30 billion (£24 billion), with $18 billion coming from outside Japan from more than 80 countries.

Since 2007, NTT has been steadily growing its international business by more than 20%. It offers technology consulting, edge-to-cloud infrastructure, and global data centres.

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India has continued to attract investments into its data centre industry, with local telco Bharti Airtel revealing this month it was going to invest £200 million into a new data centre in Hyderabad. It’s set to be a large hyperscale centre, with 60 MW of capacity.

Although NTT hasn’t invested in data centres in the city, it has hinted in the past that it is interested in entering Hyderabad, but is waiting for more demand before it does.

“Hyderabad is indeed turning out to be a hub for hyperscaler data centres in India as the government of Telangana is looking to attract investments in the state,” Rajiv Ranjan, associate research director at IDC India, told IT Pro.

“Mr K T Rama Rao, IT and industries minister, is very IT-friendly. Besides, it’s a seismic zone, has a stable power supply which is essential for data centres. Lastly, presence of talent and skilled professionals is another driving factor with more IT professionals working there, good number of engineering colleges in the state.”

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