Equinix, Inc. (NASDAQ:EQIX) and Oman Telecommunications Co. (Omantel; MSM:OTEL) say they created a joint venture on June 26 to enable data center and interconnection services to Oman and the region. The two will build a data center in Barka, near Muscat, Oman’s capital, to offer a carrier-neutral hub for carriers, content providers, and cloud providers. Equinix and Omantel will provide $10 million each in funding to support the venture; the joint venture will raise additional funds through debt financing.
The facility will follow Equinix’s International Business Exchange (IBX) model, and Equinix will operate the data center. Plans call for 18,600 square feet of colocation space and approximately 750 cabinets when the three-phase build finishes. The first phase will include 250 cabinets and is expected to be completed and available to customers by the second quarter of 2019.
Oman’s position between Asia, Africa, and Europe should enable the new IBX to offer a regional interconnection hub that provides low-latency connectivity among global business markets, the partners believe. Customers will be able to access other Equinix data centers in the region for redundancy. The data center also will offer connectivity to cable landing stations; undersea cable systems will terminate directly inside the facility as well. The companies did not name the submarine networks they have in mind, but Omantel has investments in 20 submarine cable systems and leverages six diverse landing stations in Oman. Submarine networks in which Omantel has stakes include Europe India Gateway (EIG), Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG), Gulf to Africa (G2A), Silk Route Gateway-1 (SRG-1), and AAE-1.
"We are excited to work with Equinix on this project and accelerate how users experience cloud, content, and next-gen communications,” said Talal Al Mamari, CEO of Omantel. “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 planned IBX data center 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."
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