New Oman Data Center Opens Up Global Routes

MENA interconnection hub for networks, subsea cable, cloud and content providers

Brenden Rawle

A recent report prepared by Intelligent CIO, praised the Sultanate of Oman in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). The report said Oman is “at the forefront of digital transformation as one of the key initiatives for the country in line with its Vision 2040 and Digital Oman Strategy” to advance digitalization in the public and private sector, accelerate innovation and boost the economy.[i] Located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, Oman is the perfect hub for traffic exchange between the Middle East and the rest of the world.

In July 2018, Equinix and the Oman Telecommunications Company (OmanTel, an MSM listed company: OTEL), announced an agreement to enter into a joint venture to build an Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Barka, near Muscat, the capital of Oman. We’re excited to now announce the opening of the vendor-neutral MC1 facility in October 2020 for enterprises and service provider customers. Strategically positioned between Asia, Africa and Europe, MC1 offers a regional interconnection hub with ultra-low latencies between key global business markets. 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 IBX data center in Oman and its fourth in MENA with one IBX in Abu Dhabi and two in Dubai.

Why Choose Muscat Data Centers?

Oman is strategically positioned between Asia, Africa and Europe, and the Equinix Oman IBX® data center is a regional interconnection hub with ultra-low latencies between global business markets.

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Interconnection to global internet and subsea cable fabrics

Oman borders with the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. Its location makes MC1 an excellent regional interconnection hub for internet traffic and subsea cable landing station systems.

From our latest Tech Trends Survey, we know that 41% of the IT leaders in EMEA are utilizing interconnection to increase the flexibility of connectivity and over half see optimizing their networks and reducing latency as a priority. Leveraging internet exchanges is an important part of enabling agile and scalable high-performance interconnection around the world. At MC1, we’re giving our customers direct access to global markets using the fastest route via interconnection solutions such as Equinix Internet Exchange™.  This creates a Middle Eastern hub at MC1 for internet, network, cloud and content providers, and large enterprises to exchange internet traffic and collaborate with their partners and customers.

In addition, MC1 is the hub for optimized subsea cable routes that will provide our customers with increased performance and security, along with significant cost savings. OmanTel is a global communications provider with cable landings and connectivity to more than 120 cities globally. It has investments in 20 subsea cable systems and leverages six diverse landing stations in Oman and one in France. 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. OmanTel will be able to offer redundant, high-speed connection between Oman and Frankfurt and Singapore, two of the world’s main capacity hubs that are accessible directly from within the MC1 facility. This type of vendor-neutral 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.

Ecosystem interconnection throughout the region

Oman’s digitization efforts are being led by the Ministry of Technology and Communication (MCT) to simplify processes for citizens, residents, tourists and the larger community, along with a number of other transformation projects in the public sector such as open banking. For these initiatives to be successful, they require the direct traffic exchange between digital providers and digital consumer ecosystems. The third annual Global Interconnection Index (GXI), a market study published by Equinix, found that  interconnection bandwidth – the capacity for direct and private traffic exchange between key business partners – is an essential component to digital business.

Based on demand and requirements, customers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and wider MENA region will be able to leverage MC1 and other Equinix IBX data centers in the region for access to network, cloud and content providers, and for redundancy to build resilience into their IT and network infrastructures.

MC1 is another shining example of how regional interconnection hubs are directly connecting businesses around the world and driving global digital business.

For more information about the Oman MC1 data center, contact us.

[i] Intelligent CIO, “Oman placing emphasis on innovation to boost prosperity,” June 2, 2020.

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