Equinix and Omantel Announce New Muscat Data Center
Digital infrastructure company Equinix and global communications provider Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) have announced the opening of their new International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Barka, near Muscat—the capital of Oman. Known as MC1, the facility is the first world-class, carrier-neutral hub in Oman where carriers, content providers and cloud providers can colocate critical IT infrastructure.
Strategically located between Asia, Africa and Europe, the new Equinix IBX in Oman will serve as a regional interconnection hub providing ultra-low latency connection points between key global business markets. The new IBX benefits from direct connectivity to strategic cable landing stations (CLS) and subsea cable systems that terminate directly inside the facility, and is expected to provide customers with increased performance and security, along with significant cost savings.
Equinix and Omantel announced in July 2018 that the companies had entered into a joint venture to deliver data center and interconnection services to customers in the Middle East through the development of the new network-dense data center. The resulting site, MC1, is operated by Equinix and includes 23,600+ square feet of colocation space and 725 cabinets. The site has capacity to grow to 2,150+ cabinets with future IBX builds. MC1 is Equinix’s first data center in Oman and its fourth in the MENA region. MC1 provides customers with direct access to the Equinix Internet Exchange, creating a regional peering hub for networks, content providers and large enterprises to exchange internet traffic over the world’s largest peering solution.
Equinix’s 2019-20 Global Tech Trends Survey found over 40% of IT decision-makers in EMEA are prioritising connecting with new digital ecosystems as part of their organization’s overarching technology strategy. With subsea cable systems terminating directly in MC1, the site benefits from continued investments by Omantel in multiple strategic subsea cable systems throughout the world, reaching over 50 countries globally. Omantel currently has investments in more than 20 subsea cable systems and leverages six diverse landing stations in Oman and one in Marseille, France.
Based on demand and requirements, customers across the Gulf States and wider MENA region can also leverage other Equinix data centers in the region for dual access to content providers, allowing carriers, content providers and cloud providers to leverage interconnection and further build resilience into their IT and network infrastructures.
According to the latest edition of the Global Interconnection Index (GXI), enterprise consumption of interconnection bandwidth is expected to grow at a 67% CAGR in EMEA by 2022, outpacing other forms of business data exchange, as businesses respond to rapidly growing volumes of data.
Talal Al Mamari, CEO, Omantel, said, “Today, data center infrastructure sits at the heart of global ICT and enables all of us to enjoy the cloud-based apps and services we use every day. The new IBX in Oman represents a significant step forward for Oman and the Middle Eastern ICT markets. We are delighted that the facility is now open and, together with Equinix, we hope to enable a new era of telecommunications both regionally and globally. Coupled with the majority of the GCC’s international submarine cables landing in Oman, all accessible from the Equinix data center, we believe this partnership will further enhance Oman’s competitiveness in the global digital economy.”
Eugene Bergen Henegouwen, President, EMEA, Equinix, said, “We are seeing an accelerated demand for digital transformation in MENA. Across different sectors, organisations are re-assessing their cloud adoption strategies and cloud readiness. In the digital age, companies need to reach all the right places and partners to seize opportunity, and they need to do it out at the edge. Our partnership with Omantel greatly supports our ability to meet this need, particularly as our customers can now leverage Omantel’s significant subsea cable infrastructure.
“This type of colocation and interconnection services platform creates a magnetic effect that draws in more users that can leverage a global subsea cable fabric connecting cities, countries and continents together. Along with this, our investment in the Middle East market—including the new data center in Oman—reflects our commitment to our customers as they continue their digital transformation journeys.”