Know The Future Home of Meta’s First Data Centre in India

Meta Eyeing Reliance’s Tamil Nadu Campus For India’s Debut Data Center

The social media giant Meta is set to open its first data centre in India, supposedly at the Chennai campus of Reliance Industries, according to people with knowledge of the situation, as reported by ET. It is expected that this calculated step would allow the massive American internet company to handle user-generated material locally on all of its well-known platforms, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook.

Meta

According to sources, negotiations between RIL and Meta resulted in an agreement. It is thought that these negotiations were started at Anant Ambani’s pre-wedding celebrations, which took place in Jamnagar at the beginning of March. The deal’s precise worth is yet unknown, though.

The establishment of its maiden data centre in India will empower Meta to operate multiple nodes across various locations within the country, fostering expedited data processing in what stands as its largest market. Currently, data from Indian users of Meta’s platforms is serviced through its data centre located in Singapore. With a local data centre, Meta aims to enhance the user experience by facilitating localized advertisements and reducing transmission costs from global data hubs.

The 10-acre campus, known as MAA10, nestled in Chennai’s Ambattur Industrial Estate, stands as a collaborative effort between Brookfield Asset Management, Reliance Industries, and Digital Realty. It boasts an impressive capacity to accommodate up to 100-megawatt (MW) IT load.

When reached for comment, both Reliance Industries and Meta Platforms refrained from responding, while Brookfield declined to offer any remarks.

Industry experts speculate that Meta’s decision to establish a local data centre in India may be influenced by the tightening scrutiny over large artificial intelligence (AI) models by the government. Meta’s Llama series of open-source large language models serves as a foundational tool extensively utilized by Indian enterprises, aiding in the development of applications and the refinement of models trained on proprietary data.

Neil Shah, a partner at Counterpoint Research, suggests that Meta is likely to pursue the establishment of greenfield data centres across key regions such as Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Delhi NCR, to meet its robust infrastructure requirements spanning from fibre to power.

India holds substantial importance for Meta, boasting a vast user base across its platforms. With Facebook garnering 314.6 million users, Instagram reaching 350 million, and WhatsApp boasting a staggering 480 million users in India, the nation’s significance is undeniable. Meta Platforms reported a doubling of advertisement revenue from click-to-message ads in India during the September 2023 quarter, across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Despite boasting the largest user base, India’s digital landscape remains underpenetrated when considering the installed smartphone user base, which currently stands at close to 850 million.

The MAA10 data centre campus is well-equipped to support AI language models, as previously affirmed by Digital Connexion. India’s burgeoning data centre industry is poised for exponential growth, with projections indicating a doubling of capacity within the next three years, as stated by CareEdge Ratings. Despite India currently accounting for only 3% of global data centre capacity, the nation generates 20% of global data, indicating immense growth potential.

This move by Meta to establish its inaugural data centre in India reflects a broader trend of big tech companies such as Google, who are also eyeing local data storage solutions within the country. ET recently reported that Alphabet Inc.’s Google is in advanced discussions to acquire a 22.5-acre land parcel in Navi Mumbai to construct its maiden captive data centre in India, further underscoring the growing momentum towards localizing data storage infrastructure within the country.

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