Last week, Equinix and Omantel announced a partnership to create a new network-dense data center in Barka, a coastal city 70 miles northeast of the Oman capital Muscat.
This data center will be the first Equinix data center in Oman and the first Equinix venture in the Middle East outside Dubai. Equinix is taking advantage of the fact that the world’s largest cloud providers have started to expand their regional infrastructure.
Map of Barka where the Equinix-Omantel data center will be located
It is no surprise then that Microsoft is building Azure data centers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; AWS is building data centers in Bahrain and Google Cloud Platform is planning a joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco to build a data center.
In the Equinix-Omantel partnership, each company will contribute $10 million. Additional funding will come from debt financing, to be assumed by both companies.
How Equinix Benefits from the Partnership
By partnering with Omantel, Equinix has found itself a partner with a facility that serves 52 markets in five continents. Omantel also happens to be the principal internet service provider in Oman.
According to Omantel CEO Talal Al Mamari, Omantel is excited to work with Equinix to accelerate how users experience content, the cloud, and next-generation communication technology.
Al Mamari further adds that data center infrastructure is at the heart of global ICT, allowing people to enjoy cloud-based apps and services.
Not only does the planned International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Barka represent a massive forward leap for Oman, but also for ICT markets in the Middle East.
Picture of a data center
Other than allowing Equinix to venture into Oman, the company also benefits from the fact that Omantel already connects more than 120 cities worldwide.
Omantel already has investments in 20 submarine cable systems that leverage 6 landing stations in Oman and one in France.
Omantel is also an investor in the AAE-1 consortium, which is among the newest and largest high-capacity submarine cables in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Omantel has also invested in regional and international cable systems such as Europe India Gateway (EIG), Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG), Gulf of Africa (G2A) and Silk Route Gateway-1 (SRG-1) and others.
According to Equinix, Omantel will be able to provide a redundant and unique latency of 160 miles between Singapore and Frankfurt which are two of the world’s main capacity hubs that can be accessed directly from the new IBX (International Business Exchange) data center in Oman.
Equinix’s Contribution to the Partnership
Equinix will run the data center, which is designed to have 18,600 square feet of colocation space and around 750 cabinets.
The data center will be constructed in three phases. The first phase is scheduled to be opened in the first half of 2019 and will have 250 cabinets.
Why Equinix Chose Oman
Oman is located between Africa, Europe, and Asia making it strategic for the IBX facility there. The IBX facility will be the regional interconnection hub for companies taking part in global markets.
By locating the IBX in Oman, Equinix will be connected to strategic cable landing stations and submarine cable systems that will terminate directly inside the facility.
According to Eric Schwartz, Equinix President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Oman has a lot of potential as both a market and a landing station in the subsea cable business that is quickly gaining momentum.
The Problem Equinix and Omantel want to Help Users Solve
Equinix and Omantel want to meet the growing demand for interconnection and to enhance private data exchange between businesses. The two companies understand that in the digital age, companies need to reach, integrate and interconnect everyone.
Besides, companies need to connect to people at the digital edge where population centers and digital ecosystems converge. This is what Equinix’s joint venture with Omantel will achieve.