Mumbai has witnessed highest data centre capacity addition in the first half of 2020, as it continues to be the preferred choice for large cloud players. The city also accounts for 62% of India’s total cloud capacity, followed by Pune and Chennai, showed a JLL India report.Mumbai continues to command premium for enterprise demand driven by its infrastructural benefits,, followed by Hyderabad and Chennai. Further, the city is expected to witness the highest capacity addition of nearly 360 MW during 2020-2025, followed by Chennai with a capacity addition of 134 MW.India’s data centre capacity is expected to grow from 375 MW in the first half of 2020 to 1,078 MW by 2025, presenting a $4.9 billion investment opportunity, JLL India said.“India’s data centre market will outperform over the next five years, supported by a combination of growing digital economy, increased investor interest and stable long-term returns. Growth in the sector will be further powered by colocation sites which, via, lower upfront costs, heightened data security, uninterrupted services and scalability will, further, influence investors to re-imagine the potential of India’s data centre space,” said Karan Singh Sodi, Regional Managing Director – Mumbai, JLL India .According to him, within Mumbai, Navi Mumbai has already emerged as the location of choice by various players.India’s data centre industry has provided a boost to the digital economy during the first half of 2020. Daily data consumption rose from an average of 270 petabytes (PB) during pre-lockdown period to an average of 308 PB post lockdown period registering a 14% rise.There was a 12% rise in data consumption in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, while there was a 7% increase in data consumption in Maharashtra, which is the highest data consumer. In terms of total capacity addition, there has been an increase of 8% in the first half of 2020, taking India’s total colocation capacity to 375 MW.The first half of 2020 witnessed supply addition of 27 MW, which is 56% of the total addition seen in 2019 (48 MW). Mumbai continued its lead with addition of 19 MW, followed by Bengaluru at 5 MW and Delhi NCR at 3 MW, JLL India data showed.“Powered by the transition to work from home arrangements during lockdown, the country’s data centre industry became the backbone of the digital economy and ensured a level of business continuity and sustained large portions of the country’s education system. Given shifts in the economy, we will continue to see data consumption increase manifold for the foreseeable future,” said Rachit Mohan, India Head, Data centre Advisory, JLL.The dependence of several industries on digital infrastructure has partially helped mitigate the impact of the lockdown as IT/ITeS, Banking and Financial Services, e-commerce, capital markets, social media and education remained operational.“Mumbai is expected to see highest capacity addition as it continues to be the preferred choice for large cloud players because of its infrastructure advantage. Chennai is also proving to be an attractive destination due to its advantages of submarine cable landing stations and low development costs.” says Dr Samantak Das, Chief Economist and Head of Research & REIS, JLL IndiaIndia’s data centre industry is thus expected to travel through an interesting transition phase in terms of operators, locations and technology as the world’s second largest data subscriber population increasingly adapts to a new digital world.