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6 Apr 2022

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Middle East is getting big push in digital economies with seven new internet exchanges

The Middle East's digital economy is getting a big boost as seven new internet exchanges are about to go live. The new Internet exchanges are located in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Joint venture

Alliance International Management (AIM) launched six of the seven Internet exchanges. AIM was formed by a group of technology providers and investors to set up a joint venture that would strengthen the connectivity of the Gulf region by connecting high speed connectivity infrastructure to data centers and platforms. The new joint venture will be called Alliance Networks and will address low-latency edge requirements and ensure seamless content delivery to the last mile through a robust footprint of network nodes spread across the region.

In the Gulf region, several multi-service interconnection platforms will allow customers to access a wide range of services, including connectivity to local carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs), and content and application providers, without having to establish direct connections with each provider.

Open access Internet exchange

The seventh new Internet exchange is hosted by Egypt. Egypt's first open access Internet exchange, EG-IX, is now operational and available for clients. AMS-IX will power the new Internet Exchange, which is geared towards improving internet users' digital experiences across Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East. Local telecom company Telecom Egypt will be able to leverage this EG-IX platform to improve the quality of internet services in Egypt.

EG-IX is located at Telecom Egypt's largest certified tier III data center, referred to as the Regional Data Hub (RDH), located in Smart Village in West Cairo (RDH). Telecom Egypt is an integrated telecom operator and one of the region’s major subsea cable providers. RDH is connected to a mesh network with access to 14 submarine cable systems, with the number of cable systems expected to increase to 18 by 2025.

Photo credit: Simon Berger

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