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Rediff.com  » Business » Now, Jio takes its battle against Airtel to the cloud

Now, Jio takes its battle against Airtel to the cloud

June 13, 2018 14:28 IST

With intense competition in telecom sector, the two companies are rushing to diversify into other revenue streams, prominent among which are cloud services.

After disrupting the telecom space with Jio, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries (RIL) has plans to step up the battle with rival Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel. Not just on the ground, but also in the cloud.

 

The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) empanelled RIL subsidiary Reliance Corporate Information Technology (IT) Park as a cloud services provider recently, officials have confirmed.

Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary Nxtra Data had got the government nod for the service earlier.

With intense competition in telecom sector, the two companies are rushing to diversify into other revenue streams, prominent among which are cloud services.

According to a recent forecast by Gartner, India’s public cloud services revenue is projected to grow 37.5 per cent this year to total $2.5 billion and further to $4 billion by 2020.

In a bid to expand their enterprise base, both Reliance Jio and Airtel have built infrastructure to provide cloud services, industry watchers said.

The Mukesh Ambani-owned firm had committed to build a 1-million square feet of data centre capacity, of which over half-a-million square feet facility is already up and running at its Navi Mumbai campus.

The company did not respond to a query from Business Standard on the new service.

Airtel’s Nxtra Data owns and operates eight large data centres across the country.

“Our secure and state-of-the-art infrastructure can contribute to the government’s vision of building a vibrant ecosystem of e-governance services,” K Vidyasagar, business head, Nxtra Data, said.

Nxtra Data offers an integrated portfolio to large Indian and global enterprises, government, and small and medium firms.

Apart from Airtel and Reliance, MeitY has empanelled 13 other cloud service providers.

These include Amazon, BSNL, IBM, Microsoft and Tata Communications.

In fact, the government play in cloud is expected to grow too as it increases IT spending to around $8.5 billion this year, on the back of initiatives like Digital India.

The government has embarked on cloud computing initiative MeghRaj, which is aimed at hosting government apps on the cloud and offering it as a service to various departments.

As part of government’s “cloud first” policy, a national cloud by NIC and other empanelled service providers has been providing services to government departments.

Although the MeghRaj initiative is aimed at central and state governments, private sector, too, can utilise the services of the MeitY-empanelled cloud service providers.

The standardisation, testing and quality certification audit by MeitY will be an added advantage for any company which wants to offer cloud services, an official said.

Several government initiatives, such as the national e-governance division and national prisons information portal, are already hosted on the cloud by various service providers.

Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

Kiran Rathee in New Delhi
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