Indian internet users can expect YouTube videos to load faster and Google to throw up search results quicker, thanks to the US-based company’s data centre in Asia going operational this year.
In April last year Google was planning three data centres in Asia and invested $300 million in the Honk Kong facility in 2011. Now fresh reports from The Economic Times suggest that Google’s new data centres that are likely to become operational this year, are set to increase speeds of Google’s services for many areas.
Work on the Singapore facility started in late 2011 followed by the Taiwan data centre in April 2012. The Hong Kong facility is apparently still underway.
In November 2012, Google offered a virtual tour into its secretive data centres through a new website for the first time. The site features photos from inside some of the eight data centers that Google Inc. already has running in the U.S., Finland and Belgium.
The company’s data centers are located in: Berkeley County, S.C.; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Douglas County, Ga.; Mayes County, Okla.; Lenoir, N.C.; The Dalles, Ore.; Hamina, Finland; and St. Ghislain, Belgium.
The proximity of the data centres could result in Google services becoming 30% faster, according to Raj Gopal AS, managing director at Bangalore-based NxtGen Datacenter & Cloud Services. Google, which began to scout for suitable locations in Asia in 2007, considered sites in Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, India and Vietnam. Outside Asia, Google has seven data centres in the US, and one each in Finland, Belgium and Ireland.
Lalitesh Katragadda, Country Head, India products at Google, was quoted saying to The Economic Times that Internet connectivity speed in India is not very high and so the new data centres will be “crucial to this market due to its proximity”. He also added that India was not chosen owing to the country’s hot weather conditions.
Raj Gopal AS, managing director at NxtGen Datacenter & Cloud Services in Bangalore, told the publication that the new servers could provide up to a 30 percent improvement in the speed of Google services in Asia.
Typically, countries located close to data centres enjoy faster access to data on the internet. According to a report from web-based content delivery firm Akamai Technologies, India is ranked 112th globally in internet speed.
Google’s Katragadda acknowledged that some Google services such as its video sharing website YouTube and social networking service Google Hangout cannot be accessed at optimal speeds now. With the new centres, time taken to access these services will reduce dramatically. He hoped this will result in increased adoption of Google services.
India is one of the largest markets for Google, with over 100 million users. Google enjoys a share of over 95% of India’s internet search market, according to research firm StatCounter. Over the next three years, Google expects 500 million internet users from emerging markets to come online as against just about 15 million from the United States.
According to web analytics firm ComScore, an average Indian user spends about 2.5 hours every day on Google websites, including Gmail, Google+, YouTube etc. YouTube, which has 35 million users in India, accounted for the highest share of time spent on any Google property in 2011. YouTube videos account for close to 50% of all online videos watched in India.
“More people from India are coming online every day and this is an important market as Google looks to bring the next one billion online,” Katragadda added. “We plan to invest disproportionately in India in the coming months and years.”