Meta to establish first India data centre at RIL’s Chennai campus, says report – today news


Tech and social media giant Meta Platforms is poised to establish its inaugural data centre in India at the Reliance Industries (RIL) campus located in Chennai, The Economic Times reported citing sources.

While the exact value of the deal remains undisclosed, the aim is to facilitate local processing of user-generated content across Meta’s primary apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, it added.

The proposed data centre is set to be housed within the 10-acre campus (MAA10) situated in Chennai’s Ambattur Industrial Estate. This campus, a joint venture (JV) between Brookfield Asset Management, Digital Realty, and RIL, boasts a robust IT load capacity of up to 100 MW.

The agreement between Meta and RIL materialised following deliberations during the pre-wedding festivities of Anant Ambani, a scion of the Ambani family, held in Jamnagar early last month, as per the report.

Local Data Centre Will Benefit Users, Reduce Costs

Data of Meta’s Indian users is at present serviced at the company’s Singapore centre.

The domestic facility is anticipated to bolster Meta’s operational capabilities, with plans to establish four to five nodes across various locations within India, thereby enhancing data processing speed in its largest market, it added. It is also expected to improve user experience through faster content delivery and expects a reduction in transmission costs associated with global data hubs.

Additionally, the integration of local advertisements is expected to further enrich user experience and decrease transmission costs, benefiting both Meta and its users.

India Market Conditions Require Localisation of Data?

Experts suggest that Meta’s decision to establish local data centres may be influenced by the tightening scrutiny over large artificial intelligence (AI) models by the government.

Neil Shah of Counterpoint Research told the paper that there is strategic importance in having greenfield data centres across key regions like Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Delhi NCR to meet Meta’s infrastructure requirements.

With Facebook (314.6 million Indian users), Instagram (350 million Indian users), and WhatsApp (480 million Indian users), collectively amassing millions of users in India, Meta’s advertisement revenue from click-to-message ads in the country has witnessed a significant surge.

Shah pointed out that India still has a large unpenetrated market too. “While India has the largest number of users, it is still underpenetrated if you look at the installed smartphone user base which is close to 850 million. Trying to localise user-generated content and ads is a prudent strategy as it will reduce latency, enhance AI-driven recommendations, and save transmission costs from Singapore and other hubs,” he said.

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Published: 02 Apr 2024, 10:14 AM IST

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