RailTel has decided to create several data centres in rural and semi-urban areas to accelerate the pace of digital transformation and efficient digital delivery. It has sought partners to establish such edge data centres in railway premises or land across 102 locations in the country, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 towns.
The estimated cost of the project, as per an official statement, is over ₹500 core and will be done under the PPP model. RailTel stated that the process to establish these centres has been set in motion with the floating of Expression of Interest (EoI) inviting industries to be a partner of RailTel in such endeavour.
The edge data centres are small data centres located at the edge of the network, where they are closer to end-users and devices. Having such kind of facility at the edge would enable faster performance and lower latency as organisations will not have to move the data to far-flung data centres to process it, claimed RailTel.
Under the proposed plan, the initial capacity of the proposed data centres at each location is 20 racks (5 KW to 10 KW each). However, Edge Data Centre with variable rack and power density can be explored as per the requirement and availability of space, power and other factors at individual locations.
RailTel provides Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services and is one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers in the country owning a Pan-India Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) network of over 60,000 route-kilometres along the railway track.
Emphasising the need for such data centres, RailTel CMD Puneet Chawla said that with the help of such localised data centres, rural areas can be served with low latency applications related to digital skills, financial inclusions, digital literacy etc.
“The Edge Date Centres will provide better experience and aid in the adoption of digital services by the population of these areas and thus contributing to a digital economy. The move will be another important step towards the path of digital transformation,” he said.