Given governments thrust on converting 1 lakh villages into digital villages, one has to answer a very important question of how will it impact the telecom data centers as with the low tariffs on voice calls and data plans, the data volumes are going to explode. Also, mobile data consumption with 4G, video consumption, is paving way for data centers. This all will put a lot of strain on data centers especially on the telecom side. With the influx of IoT and Cloud, the demand for data centers in India is going up as it is responsible for both processing and hosting network and infrastructure-related information.
Discussing how 5G will change the scenario of telecom data centers in India, Anjani Kumar, India Country Manager, Raritan-a brand of Legrand believes that 5G will revolutionise the telecom sector especially the data centers. Thus, in a conversation with Voice&Data, Mr Kumar talks about the Telecom Data centers and the changes 5G will bring on the table for telecom data centers.
1. Given the Indian Government’s thrust on digitizing 1 lakh villages, how do telecom data centers plan to secure the huge amounts of data?
The Government’s announcement on digitizing 1 lakh villages will open an array of opportunities for growth in the telecom data center industry. Now, with the Common Service Centres (CSC’s) reaching the villages, huge amounts of data will be generated through these digital services. Additionally, with incentives like low tariffs on mobile data and voice calls and augmentation of 4G has created a huge smartphone subscriber base in India including the rural areas that will subscribe to the services digitally. This data has to be managed, processed and stored in real time. To manage this data efficiently, it first needs to be processed closer to the point where it is generated. This concept is being discussed enormously and it is called moving from the ‘core to the edge’ where more data centers need to be set up closer to the consumers. Therefore, to efficiently handle the situation of data upsurge, edge computing in telecom has to grow cutting across geographies. Edge capacity will be added in centralized data centers as well as in metro sites outside of core data center hubs.
2. Considering the 4G infrastructure of the Indian telecom sector, do you think the telecom data centers in India are equipped for the 5G revolution?
5G data centers will require high-speed bandwidth and low latency. By the time of its global launch in 2020, 5G will practically converge our physical, virtual and social worlds through the Internet of Things and Big Data Analytics.
With the huge potential of 5G in India, there are some hurdles which can be overcome in time.
The problem with India right now is the network infrastructure. Currently, we are still transitioning from 3G to 4G and the next transition to 5G presents challenges due to diversities in network densification, disparate data offload strategies and uncertainties around backhaul technology. We need the highest capacity backhaul for 5G to deliver its intended peak data rates, fibre has become a critical backhaul and transport technology. The leading telecom operators are committed to and investing in fibre, and the government is leading the way through BharatNet. However, there needs to be urgency around fiberisation in India to support 5G. 5G network is intended to support mission-critical applications such as financial transactions and healthcare, and latency and high speed will be achieved by fiberisation.
Therefore, the Indian telecom industry is all set to embrace the next wave of communication revolution around digital, and will officially roll out its 5G services by 2020. Right now, the greater focus should be -ready are fiberisation and infrastructure development, regulatory support from the government for ROW, and industry-government collaboration.
3. What are some of the solutions telecom data centres are exploring to meet future demands efficiently?
There are a lot of solutions in the market to prevent downtime, power and rack monitoring solutions. However, looking at the data proliferation and the Government’s thrust on 5G, more compute power will force data centers at the telecom side to come up with cost-effective solutions. In order to meet the demands, the need of the hour is to invest in technologies that will bring smarter and more efficient data centers. A lot of data is being generated through IoT and we have come to a point where we are talking about edge computing and now we have edge data centers. We see that the telecom operators are already facing issues with a huge load of traffic volumes at their network and this will only increase in the future. To be able to route traffic up and down will become more challenging for them. Going forward their cellular towers will become one of the edge data centers. The telcos will then be able to manage and process data at that cell tower itself and re-route from that point. At the moment, we are doing pilot projects with telcos globally and helping them to remotely manage and improve the uptime of each cell site.