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Lightstorm, a provider of infrastructure platforms, aims to invest $1 billion over the next three to five years in India and Southeast Asia to increase its fibre network capacity and cable landing stations, a top executive said.

The company plans to double its number of data centres and expand its fibre capacity by over 60% by December this year, as it anticipates a rise in demand from telecom service providers, enterprises and startups ahead of 5G services launching in India.

Chief executive Amajit Gupta said that the Delhi-based company would also launch a network-as-a-service model in Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh later this year, part of the investments aimed at India’s bustling data infrastructure sectors.

“In the last 18 months, we have set up a state-of-the-art digital network in India spanning 12,000 plus km fibre network, 200 nodes connecting almost 50 multi-tenant data centres in the country’s five major economic hubs. We plan to expand this to 100 data centres and cloud locations by the end of this year," Gupta said in an email.

Fibre capacity will rise to cover 20,000 km by the end of the year, while the number of cable landing stations will also go up. The company tied up with US-based Cinturion Corp, a provider of subsea and terrestrial networks, for the Trans Europe Asia System in India. The company will build a network of open Cable Landing Stations (CLSs) in India to launch new routes and provide neutral access to the landing parties, bringing down the cost of internet access by reducing overdependence on a few locations and captive landing stations. Currently, India has two main CLS in Mumbai and Chennai, which is not enough, Gupta said. This will enable the provider to provide low-cost access to high-speed fibre capacity from open-access cable landing stations.

“Later this year, we will be launching our network in Indonesia, connecting 40 plus data centres, and offer high-quality fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure on a Network-as-a-service (NaaS) model to service providers and internet service providers in Indonesia. We will shortly connect services to Nepal and Bangladesh soon," Gupta said.

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