Meta likely to establish first data centre in India at Reliance’s Chennai campus

Meta Platforms, a tech and social media giant, is preparing to establish its inaugural data center in India, reportedly at the Reliance Industries (RIL) campus in Chennai, according to the report. The move aims to enable local processing of user-generated content across Meta’s primary apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, although the exact value of the deal remains undisclosed.

The proposed data center is planned to be situated within the 10-acre campus (MAA10) located in Chennai’s Ambattur Industrial Estate. This campus, a joint venture (JV) between Brookfield Asset Management, Digital Realty, and RIL, possesses a robust IT load capacity of up to 100 MW. The agreement between Meta and RIL came to fruition following discussions during the pre-wedding festivities of Anant Ambani, a member of the Ambani family, held in Jamnagar early last month.

Currently, Meta’s Indian users’ data is serviced at the company’s center in Singapore. The establishment of a domestic facility is expected to enhance Meta’s operational capabilities, with plans to establish four to five nodes across various locations in India, thereby improving data processing speed in its largest market. Moreover, the integration of local advertisements is anticipated to enrich user experience and reduce transmission costs, benefiting both Meta and its users.

Experts suggest that Meta’s decision to establish local data centers may be influenced by the government’s increasing scrutiny over large artificial intelligence (AI) models. Neil Shah of Counterpoint Research highlighted the strategic importance of having greenfield data centers across key regions like Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Delhi NCR to meet Meta’s infrastructure needs. With Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp collectively amassing millions of users in India, Meta’s advertisement revenue from click-to-message ads in the country has seen a significant surge. Shah emphasized India’s large untapped market potential, stating that localizing user-generated content and ads is a prudent strategy to reduce latency, enhance AI-driven recommendations, and save transmission costs from Singapore and other hubs.

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