How Singapore defies the global pandemic with record levels of internet traffic exchange

A Digital Harbor and Gateway between Asia-Pacific and the Rest of the World

Audrey Seow

The post-pandemic new reality is taking shape in all forms of uncertainties, complexities and opportunities. These shifts and adaptations that many have had to make have fast-tracked existing changes that led to a boom in demand for data to support remote working, and accelerated digital and cloud adoption, resulting in record levels of internet traffic exchanged. Thankfully, we are better equipped today to battle this unprecedented surge in data demand with widespread deployment of information and communication technologies (ICT), alongside technologies such as 4G and 5G, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

Participating at the Pacific Telecommunications Conference (PTC) 2021, we discussed how shifts in our digital economy have created digital advantages for businesses. Held virtually for the first time, the conference themed “New Realities” saw Equinix speak about where companies plan to deploy more capital to meet the growing demand for data. One particular region that stood out is Asia-Pacific.

On the Equinix Internet Exchange™, internet traffic in Asia-Pacific has received a record growth of 44% CAGR over the past five years. Upon closer look, the trend in the steep internet traffic increase has been and is still led by Singapore – a digital hub for both Asia-Pacific, and for the world. Over the past five years, Singapore has emerged as one of the top internet exchange points (IXP) by size worldwide, growing at 53% CAGR.

Equinix Internet Exchange Data Sheet

The Equinix Internet Exchange™ allows networks including ISPs, Content Providers and Enterprises to easily and effectively exchange Internet traffic.

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Hyperlinks from Singapore

Singapore holds a reputation for being the gateway to Asia, thanks to its world-renowned expertise in areas such as project management and structuring, financing and investment. Its world-class connectivity to the region and beyond has continued to fuel and grow the little red dot into formalizing its position as a premier hub for the region and for the world. Its continued success as a hub that connects others to the world can be attributed to three main reasons:

  • A connected city physically and digitally. Singapore’s geographical location at the crossroads of important trade lines has given it a strategic advantage to thrive in a dynamic global industry. In addition, the city state is also deeply connected to the world digitally, with more than 25 subsea cables carrying the world’s traffic and connecting Singapore to every continent.
  • A rich and diverse ecosystem of innovation, talent and digital connectivity has helped Singapore emerge as a data center hub for the region. Success breeds success and with a broad range of network services from 205+ global networks and 200+ cloud and IT service providers hosted within Equinix in Singapore, businesses can no longer ignore Singapore as a hub that fuels opportunities for connection and innovation.
  • A well-developed, business-friendly environment through its economic and manpower policies. Singapore has made available US$215 million for deep-tech startups, as well as US$6.2 billion over three years to spur economic transformation and business growth.[1] Its pro-business policies have made it attractive for global organizations to grow their business in Singapore.

Doubling-clicking to grow peering value 

Serving as one of the top Internet Exchange (IX) Providers in the world, Equinix Internet Exchange™ in Singapore enables networks, content providers and large enterprises to exchange internet traffic through the largest global peering solution across more than 30 markets.

Not only will Equinix Internet Exchange members benefit from Singapore’s expertise as a hub, but they also get to enjoy reduced network hops and congestions. Instead of passing through multiple hubs through the internet, they are able to exchange directly through peering as traffic is kept within the Singapore IX. In other words, there is a more direct route between network, content and cloud service providers, reducing the distance required and significantly cutting down on latency, resulting in end-users experiencing their content and applications without delays or interruptions. This is exactly how Equinix is enabling an online movie streaming service, to operate in close proximity to many of their top service provider partners, resulting in instant on-demand streaming for its customers.

From businesses undergoing digital transformation to gamers, the demand to access high-quality, reliable, and fast internet is more important than ever. By exchanging data traffic at IXs, these enterprises go through a single connection to access hundreds of networks. The beauty of this is the flexibility and network quality and control it brings, enabling service providers to reach international markets and ecosystem from a convenient location.

Over the years, the Equinix Internet Exchange and our associated peering ecosystem have grown in breadth and in depth, successfully extending our network infrastructure in Asia-Pacific and to almost all corners of our business around the world. We have built regional and global peering hubs to allow drivers of internet traffic to efficiently peer and expand operations across the world. As the world’s internet traffic continues to accelerate, it’s more crucial now than ever that the peering community relies on a scalable, reliable and globally consistent Internet Exchange solution in all markets where they want to peer traffic.

Updates and upgrades

We’ve witnessed in 2020 how existing volumes of data can spike tremendously as a result of a pandemic. This has set a new benchmark in a renewed hyper-wired world. While traffic will be peeled off onto private peering and become transparent on the public peering IX platform, we continue to expect peering traffic to grow as a result of increasing data demand.

As the world’s digital infrastructure for digital businesses, Equinix operates the world’s largest internet exchange footprint. We live up to our name that encapsulates our core attributes: Equality, Neutrality and Internet Exchange; connecting you to the people, places and opportunities that matter most to your business. Whether you’re optimizing your network to rapidly access and distribute data, shifting your IT to the edge to maximize performance or scaling your peering relationships, Equinix provides quality and choice to support the internet growth. Download the Equinix Internet Exchange Data Sheet to learn more.

 

[1] Ministry of Finance (MOF), Singapore Budget 2020, Budget Speech

53%

Over the past five years, Singapore has emerged as one of the top internet exchange points (IXP) by size worldwide, growing at 53% CAGR.

Audrey Seow
Audrey Seow Interconnection Director, Asia-Pacific Interconnection Director, Asia-Pacific