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Gitex 2021: Arc spans network ecosystem in Oman

Integrated networking services provider invests in Nokia technology to offer added connectivity options for enterprise customers in key Middle East location

To extend its network-as-a-service technology to a wider pool of local and global customers, Middle East and North Africa (MENA)-based integrated networking services provider Arc Solutions has expanded its network footprint to Oman with a presence in Equinix’s International Business Exchange (IBX) datacentre in Muscat. 

A joint venture between the UAE’s du and Bahrain’s Batelco, Arc said the move demonstrates how it is utilising the growing opportunities in partnering with like-minded service providers to develop a gateway to the region’s evolving ecosystem, simplifying access to service providers and partners across the Middle East. 

It envisions a highly interconnected Middle Eastern market that accelerates how network-centric businesses optimise, grow and innovate in cloud, content and communications. To achieve its objectives, Arc has deployed Nokia IP and optical systems, including the Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch, to provide high-capacity connectivity between SmartHub (UAE), datamena (UAE), GlobalZone (Bahrain) and Muscat MC1 (Oman).

Nokia was selected as the prime supplier to provide a high-capacity datacentre interconnection in the Middle East. The initial deployment, covering four major business locations, was deployed in six months to meet increasing traffic demands from Arc customers in the region.

It said the added investment in Nokia technology will enable network-centric organisations to benefit from high-speed interconnection with a growing ecosystem of ICT platforms across the region, including local network providers, cloud providers and internet exchange platforms.

Oman has established itself as a significant communications hub in the region, evidenced by the recently announced 2Africa submarine cable and the 9,800km Oman Australia Cable. The new Arc presence in in Oman is also part of a regional expansion programme to give customers scalable systems for growing across the Middle East.  

Its deployment in the country comes on the back of recently established SDN nodes in the UAE and Bahrain. The provider said that with its infrastructure, customers can rapidly roll out new applications and services across Oman and beyond. 

Earlier this year, Arc become able to combine its connectivity solutions with access to Equinix’s ecosystem of more than 1,800 network providers, 2,900 cloud providers and 10,000 customers across 225 datacentres. Equinix’s Muscat IBX datacentre (MC1) and Internet Exchange are located in the heart of the digital ecosystem connecting Asia, Africa and Europe.

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This confluence of cable systems, with carrier-neutral colocation, interconnection and peering, has accelerated the growth of digital corridors linked with Oman between 2016 and 2020. Equinix provides interconnection for cloud-first organisations across verticals including finance, manufacturing, mobility, transportation, government, healthcare and education.

Working with partners in the Middle East is the foundation of our ability to deliver leading ICT solutions across the region and beyond,” said Arc Solutions CEO Mahesh Jaishankar. “We are excited to be working closely with the Equinix team to enable accelerated innovation in the Middle East. Arc is always keeping track of changing demands in the region, directing our expansion to locations where we see a strong future demand. 

“We look forward to continuing to bring a multitude of new opportunities to customers in the region through our ongoing expansion. The Nokia solution gives us the ability to offer our customers rich, reliable and secure connectivity over a purpose-built platform between all key Middle East datacentre locations. As a focused middle-mile network service provider, Arc is building a robust, resilient and flexible pan-regional datacentre interconnect network that will allow customers to connect their last-mile solutions to the cloud and other service providers.”

Kamel Al-Tawil, managing director, Middle East and North Africa at Equinix, added: “Equinix is committed to providing our partners and customers with a platform that enables them to rapidly scale their infrastructure, reach and connectivity on their digital transformation journeys. Cloud and content service providers are choosing Oman as they expand and unlock opportunities in the Middle East region, increasing their digital presence and interconnecting with important locations, cloud services and data that matter most to their businesses.”

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