Equinix, an interconnection and data centre company, and Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel, an MSM listed company: OTEL), have entered into a joint venture to deliver data centre and interconnection services to customers in the Middle East.
This will be achieved through the development of a new network-dense data centre that will be located in Barka, near Muscat, the capital of Oman. This joint venture will establish the first world-class, carrier-neutral hub in Oman where carriers, content providers and cloud providers colocate critical IT infrastructure.
Equinix will operate the new IBX data centre, which will include 18,600 square feet of colocation space and approximately 750 cabinets at full build. The first phase of the three-phase build will include 250 cabinets and is expected to be completed and open for business by Q2 2019.
Oman is strategically positioned between Asia, Africa and Europe, and the new Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre will create a regional interconnection hub with ultra-low latencies between global business markets. Based on demand and requirements, customers in the GCC and wider MENA region can also leverage other Equinix data centres in the region for dual access to content providers, allowing carriers, content providers and cloud providers to further build resilience into their IT and network infrastructure.
The new IBX data centre in Oman will benefit from connectivity to strategic cable landing stations (CLS) and subsea cable systems that terminate directly inside the facility. It will also benefit from the investments by Omantel in multiple strategic subsea cable systems throughout the region and the rest of the world. This subsea cable connectivity will provide customers with significant cost savings and an increase in performance and security.
Under the terms of the agreement, Equinix and Omantel will both fund equity contributions in an amount of US$10 million for the joint venture representing a 50% shareholding each, and additional funds will be raised through debt financing assumed by the joint venture company.
Talal Al Mamari, CEO, Omantel said, "We are excited to work with Equinix on this project and accelerate how users experience cloud, content and next-gen communications. Today, data centre 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 planned IBX data centre with Equinix in Oman represents a massive step forward for Oman and the Middle Eastern ICT markets. Working on this project will allow both companies to bring together their strong assets and enable a new era of telecommunications both locally and globally. Such partnership will further enhance Oman's competitiveness in the global digital economy and trade."
Eric Schwartz, president EMEA, Equinix added, "We see significant potential for Oman as a market generally and, in particular, supporting CLS requirements as subsea cable momentum accelerates. It's all about meeting the growing need for interconnection – private data exchange between businesses. In the digital age, companies need to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything, and they need to do it out at the digital edge, where commerce, population centres and digital ecosystems meet. Our joint venture with Omantel will do exactly that."