UNITED Parcel Services is to build a US$55 million data centre in Atlanta to back up the company's New Jersey global telecommunications headquarters. The new 165,000 sq ft centre, which is expected to be built by 1995, will initially employ 150 people with plans for expansion at a later stage. ''Redundancy planning is critical,'' said Frank Erbrick, UPS senior vice-president of Information Services. ''Although we currently have redundant capacity, it is necessary that we have it in distinct parts of the country in the unfortunate event of a power shortage or natural disaster.'' The centre - one of the most reliable data communications facilities built - will provide redundancy that is separate from the primary data centre in New Jersey, in case of power interruption due to natural disaster or human error. This additional data centre also will provide UPS with future growth capacity. ''In addition, with the instant movement of information being as important as moving packages, information technology will continue to be a major component of our business,'' Mr Erbrick added. ''With our international network in place and our total tracking system completed, we need the additional capacity to meet the future needs of both our domestic and international customers.'' UPS opened its $100 million telecommunications headquarters and data centre in New Jersey in 1991 as part of a multi-billion dollar technology upgrade programme. That facility houses UPS's primary mainframe computer centre, which is the cornerstone for UPSnet, the company's proprietary global network that connects every UPS facility around the world. The technology investment also allowed for the completion of TotalTrack, the company's state-of-the-art electronic tracking system that utilises cellular technology. Construction of the new centre, located on 10 hectares of land, is scheduled to begin in late summer, with the completion tentatively set for early 1995. Privately held UPS has revenue of $16.5 billion last year, ranking it as the world's largest package distribution company. By contrast, rival Federal Express Corp had revenue of about $7.5 billion. UPS also is building a $75 million, 620,000 sq ft headquarter complex in Atlanta, which is due to begin operations late next year.