Djibouti telecom: a gateway to the world

01 September 2017 | Guy Matthews

The Republic of Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, is 23,000km square with a population of fewer than a million citizens. The country’s regional importance, however, is in disproportion to its size.

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Djibouti’s privileged geographical position at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe give it immense significance as a vital hub on the global communications superhighway.

Taking full advantage of the country’s historically important location, incumbent carrier Djibouti Telecom has been able to position itself as one of the most important East African telecoms players, able to connect a range of wholesale and enterprise customers to diverse areas of the globe. The carrier’s fully resilient international network backs up a complete portfolio of voice, data/IP and capacity services.

Djibouti Telecom has now augmented this status by investing in a new generation of international infrastructures in the form of the Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) and South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (Sea-Me-We 5) systems, adding to the multitude of submarine connectivity options in which it already has a stake. 

Djibouti Telecom is one of the key players in the consortium behind AAE-1, at 25,000km the largest cable system constructed in almost 15 years and the first next generation cable to link all the major Asian, African, Middle Eastern and European commercial hotspots via the lowest latency subsea route. It also furnishes crucial diversity in connectivity to emerging markets in Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Yemen. 

Route diversity

To further improve its connectivity and extend its services, Djibouti Telecom is also a part of the consortium behind Sea-Me-We 5. Through this involvement it is able to offer even better route diversity and redundancy, and create an overall improved proposition for existing and prospective partners.

Sea-Me-WE 5 is a 20,000km cable running between Marseille and Singapore, connecting 16 countries across three continents and offering 100Gbps DWDM technology with a capacity of 24Tbps on three fiber pairs. With this cable, bandwidth demand between Europe and Asia, which has quadrupled in recent years, has been answered.

Emerging markets

Demand between Europe and Asia looks set to grow further as Asia’s emerging markets keep investing to make internet connections faster and more accessible for the benefit of both fixed and mobile users. It is not all about capacity though, with network diversity being another major priority in network planning today. In order to have a continuity of services, for security and efficiency, it is vital that a multitude of route options, such as Djibouti Telecom offers, can be supplied. 

The company’s diverse portfolio of services includes IP Transit, which is now faster and more reliable than ever for the benefit of customers in areas like content delivery, fixed and mobile telecoms. With a network footprint covering the major locations in Europe and Asia, Djibouti Telecom makes IP transit and backhaul connections quick and efficient through direct connectivity with all the major Internet carriers, in Marseille, UAE, Singapore, London and Nairobi. 

Djibouti Telecom’s ambition is to continue to fulfil its role as a unique gateway for millions of customers in the region and beyond, meeting their fast growing demand for international bandwidth now and in the future.

Djibouti Telecom is a partner of Djibouti Data Center, which offers a unique data center premise, connected to diverse fiber paths. Last year, the carrier introduced a new cable backhaul tariff in collaboration with DDC to bring costs more in line with those in Europe and other regions. 

There are plans to further enhance the hub’s attractiveness by bringing more content groups to the data center, thus providing extra appeal for carriers and other partners by moving content closer to the customer. The DDC has already been chosen by major players such as MTN, TATA, PCCW and China Telecom, showing the strength of its geographic location. 

Djibouti Telecom is also connected to Interxion in Marseille, Epsilon in London, Datamena and SmartHub in the Gulf, Global Switch and Equinix in Singapore, and the East Africa Data Center in Nairobi. 

Topics: Djibouti Telecom, Capacity media, wholesale telecoms, African telecom