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  • Voltaire Staff

Meta to set up its first data centre in India under pact with Reliance

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, is reportedly planning to establish its first data centre in India, likely on the Reliance Industries campus in Chennai.

The agreement between Meta and RIL was purportedly reached following discussions during the pre-wedding festivities of Anant Ambani, a scion of the Ambani family, held in Jamnagar in early March, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to ET.

Meta is set to bolster its operations in India by establishing four to five nodes across various locations nationwide, a move aimed at expediting data processing in its largest market.

At present, data from Indian users of Meta's products is managed at its data centre in Singapore.

The 10-acre campus, known as MAA10, located in Chennai's Ambattur Industrial Estate, is a collaborative effort between Brookfield Asset Management, Reliance Industries, and Digital Realty. The campus boasts a robust infrastructure capable of supporting up to a 100-Megawatt (MW) IT load capacity.

Indian enterprises heavily rely on Meta's Llama series of open-source large language models, which serve as the foundation for various applications and are extensively used for fine-tuning models trained on proprietary data.

"Meta would aim for greenfield data centres across key regions including Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi NCR, which can suffice its strong infrastructure requirements from fibre to power," said Neil Shah, partner at technology research firm Counterpoint Research.

Meta announced a doubling of its ad revenue from click-to-message ads in India during the September 2023 quarter, spanning platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

"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," Shah said.

According to a study by CareEdge Ratings, India's data centre industry is projected to double its capacity within the next three years.

Presently, India holds only a 3 per cent share of global data centre capacity despite generating 20 per cent of global data.

However, the scenario is expected to evolve as major tech companies like Meta and Google are aiming to localize data storage in India.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is in advanced talks to buy a 22.5-acre land parcel in Navi Mumbai to build its first-ever captive data centre in the country.





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