Equinix, Inc. and Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) have entered into a joint venture to deliver data center and interconnection services to customers in the Middle East.

The companies will deliver the services through the development of a new network-dense data center 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.

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. 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 IBX data center 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 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. The shareholders' agreement was signed on June 20, 2018, and the joint venture company was established on June 26, 2018.

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.

Omantel is a global communications provider with cable landings and connectivity to more than 120 cities globally. It has investments in 20 subsea cable systems and leverages six diverse landing stations in Oman and one in France. Additionally, Omantel is an investor in AAE-1 consortium, one of the largest, newest high-capacity connections between Asia, Africa and Europe. Omantel has also invested in multiple regional and international cables including Europe India Gateway (EIG), Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG), Gulf to Africa (G2A), and Silk Route Gateway-1 (SRG-1), among others. As a result, Omantel will be able to offer a redundant and unique latency of 160ms between Frankfurt and Singapore, two of the world's main capacity hubs accessible directly from within the new IBX data center in Oman.