Data center company Equinix and Oman telecommunications company Omantel have entered into a joint venture to deliver colocation data center and interconnection services to customers in the Middle East. Together, they will develop a new network-dense data center that will be located in Barka, near Muscat, the capital of Oman.
Oman is strategically positioned between Asia, Africa, and Europe, and the new Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data center will create a regional interconnection hub with ultra-low latencies between global business markets.
Equinix will operate the new IBX data center, 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.
Subsea Cable Connectivity
Based on demand and requirements, customers in the GCC and wider MENA region can also leverage other Equinix data centers 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 Equinix IBX data center in Oman would 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 world. This subsea cable connectivity will provide customers with significant cost savings and an increase in performance and security.
“The planned IBX data center with Equinix in Oman represents a massive step forward for Oman and the Middle Eastern ICT markets,” said Talal Al Mamari, CEO of Omantel. “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 a partnership will further enhance Oman’s competitiveness in the global digital economy and trade.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Equinix and Omantel will both fund equity contributions in an amount of $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. The shareholders’ agreement was signed on June 20, 2018, and the joint venture company was established on June 26, 2018.
“We see significant potential for Oman as a market generally and, in particular, supporting CLS requirements as subsea cable momentum accelerates,” said Eric Schwartz, President, EMEA, Equinix. “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 centers and digital ecosystems meet. Our joint venture with Omantel will do exactly that.”
Founded in 1970, Omantel is a joint-stock company listed in Muscat Securities Market and is 51% owned by Oman Investment Fund (OIF), a wholly owned investment arm of the Omani government.