Airtel’s data centre subsidiary, Nxtra Data, will open two data centre campuses in Maharashtra, the company announced in a press release on Tuesday. Nxtra has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation to that end, the company said. The company already operates two data centres in Maharashtra. The company says its clients include Paytm, Apple, AT&T, Cisco, and Facebook.

Data centres are essential to the modern internet. Even with decent internet speeds, data that might be stored in a data centre abroad would be hindered by distances and international bandwidth, potentially leading to slower speeds for some services. Data centres solve this problem by bringing content providers and internet users closer, and reducing the amount of data that needs to flow on undersea cables. Recently, The Caryle Group through its entities announced an investment of US$35 million for a 25% stake in Nxtra at a US$1.2 billion valuation. Nxtra said that it will use the proceeds from this investment to “continue scaling up its infrastructure and offerings across India”.

Data centres also serve enterprises as offshore data storage and analytics solutions, usually through cloud service providers, who account for a major portion of data centres’ traffic. Internet exchanges, which connect content providers with internet providers, also reside in data centres. Firms like ST Telemedia (partly owned by Tata Communications), GPX, Sify, NTT and Nxtra own data centres in Mumbai.

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