Powergrid to separate telecommunications business, gets nod for foray into data centers

Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd is in the process of handing over its telecoms vertical to a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Powergrid Teleservices Ltd, in a bid to have a ‘targeted approach’ and move up the value chain, senior officials have said. company officials. .

The move by the major state-run power transmission company comes close as the telecom sector is ramping up its 5G service across the country to bring a business transformation that can contribute up to 2% to the national GDP.

The large state-owned power transmission company has also obtained approval from the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to operate data centers.

“Powergrid’s telecom division will be transferred to the new subsidiary Powergrid Teleservices after receiving all regulatory approvals to give greater momentum to the business and move up the value chain by entering the data center business. The regulatory clearance process is ongoing,” Powergrid Executive Director (Telecom), B Vamsi Rama Mohan, told PTI on the sidelines of INFOCOM 2022 hosted by ABP Group.

He also said pilots to demonstrate BTS and FM Radio mobile transmission on high-voltage power transmission towers “showed promising results.”

“With the emphasis on high-speed data networks across the country, the telecommunications sector holds immense potential for the future,” he said.

Telcos have announced plans to have a nationwide 5G footprint within the next two years and Powergrid is “well positioned” to help telcos (telcos) deploy their 4G or 5G base stations across high-voltage power transmission towers as PGCIL has “one of the largest terrestrial fiber optic network in the country providing communication services”.

“We have one of the largest fiber optic networks of 76,000 km. Pilot projects to demonstrate 4G/5G BTS on high voltage towers have shown promising results and are running smoothly. provides assurance that now Powergrid can leverage its two lakh tower network across the country and help telecom companies deliver voice and data services to every village in the country,” said PGCIL CGM (Telecom) D Yadav.

Powergrid will offer a “one-stop solution for telecom operators with a highly reliable power supply, a tower to house the antenna and basic equipment, backhauling from fiber to the transmission line and unmatched reach”, even in remote areas using the company’s widespread transmission tower infrastructure, officials said.

Speaking about the data center, Mohan said, “CERC has given approval to Powergrid to establish and operate data centers under PowerTel using excess substation land.

“The first data center as a pilot is expected to appear near Delhi with a capacity of 250 racks and it will be increased to 1000 racks. Detailed data center business models are being developed.”

The size of the telecommunications business is relatively small in Powergrid’s overall revenue, but “the business environment is very conducive to leapfrogging,” Mohan said.

Talking about the national long distance operation, Mohan said, “Having the interconnection agreements with neighboring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan, we are leveraging it to provide fiber optics to these countries.”

Powergrid has an extensive electricity transmission network of 1.76 lakh km to help supply power across the country.

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