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Meta’s first data centre to come up in Reliance’s Tamil Nadu campus

Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, will set up is first data centre in India at the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) campus in Chennai, the Economic Times reported on Tuesday.

A deal between Meta chairman and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and RIL was made following discussions at the pre-wedding festivities of Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani, in Jamnagar in early March, said newspaper quoting unnamed sources. The deal value is unknown.

How will a local data centre benefit Meta?
The 10-acre MAA10 campus in Chennai’s Ambattur Industrial Estate, a joint venture of Brookfield Asset Management, Reliance Industries, and Digital Realty, can handle up to 100 Megawatt (MW) IT load.

Meta is anticipated to operate four to five nodes across various locations in the country, expediting data processing in its largest market. The social media giant currently has 22 data centres worldwide. Data on Indian users of Meta products is managed in Singapore, the company’s only centre for the entire Asia-Pacific region.

A data centre in India will handle content and also help increase local advertising, enriching user experience and reducing transmission costs from global data hubs, said the newspaper.

With Facebook boasting 314.6 million users, Instagram 350 million, and WhatsApp 480 million users in India—almost double the figures in its native US—Meta Platforms revealed a doubling of advertisement revenue from click-to-message ads in India during the September 2023 quarter, the report added.

The MAA10 data centre campus, capable of supporting artificial intelligence language models, was highlighted by Digital Connexion in January upon its inauguration.

According to CareEdge Ratings, India’s data centre industry is projected to double its capacity within three years, despite currently holding only a 3 per cent global share despite generating 20 per cent of global data.

However, this landscape is likely to evolve as major tech firms like Meta and Google seek to localise data storage in India.

Meta’s data centre plan
Earlier in February this year, media reports said Meta Platforms was planning to set up a 20 megawatt (MW) capacity centre for an investment of Rs 500-1,200 crore.

According to an October 2023 CII-Colliers report, India’s data centre industry is expected to attract $10 billion in investment within the next three years, driven by an exponential increase in data consumption and improving regulatory framework.

With the popularity of Instagram, especially in short video-format Reels, a data centre in India would help Meta improve user experience. Business Standard

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