Google's new Asia data centers to up speed of services

Web users in Asia can experience Google's services at an estimated 30 percent faster speeds once new data centers in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, come online this year.

With Google's new data centers in Asia scheduled to go operational this year, users in the region such as India can enjoy the Internet giant's services, including Web search and YouTube videos, at faster speeds.

In a report by The Economic Times Wednesday, Lalitesh Katragadda, country head, India products at Google, said Internet connectivity speed in India is not very high, and so the new data centers will be "crucial to this market due to its proximity".

Google started construction of the new data centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan since late 2011. The Singapore facility is expected to be complete early this year, while the Taiwan one will be complete by the second half of this year. Google has not yet given a clear timeframe for completion of its Hong Kong data center, the report said.

In early December 2011, ZDNet reported that Google kicked off construction of its first Asian data center in Hong Kong , which is expected to be up and running in early 2013. Outside Asia, Google has seven data centers in the US, and one each in Finland, Belgium and Ireland.

Katragadda said India was not chosen as a location due to its hot weather, the Economic Times report said.

He also noted that some Google services such as YouTube and Google Hangout cannot be accessed in India at optimal speeds currently. With the new centers, time taken to access such services will reduce dramatically, which will help boost user adoption, he pointed out.

Raj Gopal AS, managing director at Bangalore-based NxtGen Datacenter and Cloud Services, added in the report that the proximity of the Asian data centers could result in Google services becoming 30 percent faster.

Typically, countries located close to data centers enjoy faster access to data on the Internet. India is ranked 112th globally in Internet speed, according Akamai Technologies, the report noted.

India is one of the largest markets for Google, with over 100 million users and a 95 percent share of India's search market, the report said, citing figures from StatCounter. Over the next three years, Google expects 500 million online users from emerging markets as compared to 15 million from the United States.

"More people from India are coming online everyday and this is an important market as Google looks to bring the next one billion online," Katragadda said. "We plan to invest disproportionately in India in the coming months and years."