Du tests regional internet exchange hub
Du expects trial customers in Q1 for TRA-backed IX initiative
UAE telco Du is in "the final stages of commissioning" a neutral internet exchange (IX) that will serve ISPs in the Middle East, CommsMEA.com reports.
Currently, most internet traffic in the Middle East is stored on internet exchange (IX) servers in Europe, Asia and the US, which increases latency for end-users and forces operators to spend more on international capacity.
Du, which is working with the UAE's TRA on the project, hopes to address the situation by developing an IX that will have enough "critical mass" to become a hub for the entire region.
Speaking at a recent telecoms event in Dubai, Andrew Grenville, executive vice president - investments, Du, said that the UAE's IX is currently situated in a data centre in Dubai and is going through the "last stages of commissioning".
"We are expecting trial customers on it this quarter. This is not pie-in-the-sky. It is definitely real and it is growing fast in momentum," Grenville said.
He added that to gain sufficient scale, a single IX to serve the region is required, rather than smaller IXs in different countries in the region.
Mohammed Al Ghanem, director general of the UAE's TRA, announced in November 2011 that there would be a neutral independent IX established in the UAE in 2012.
"Du is very much supporting that initiative, very much trying to build the ecosystem around that to create a telecoms hub and frankly that is for the region - it is not just a UAE thing," Grenville said.
"It will enable people to peer here in the region rather than just peering overseas in Europe or Asia which is where a lot of peering is done at the moment."