Q&A: Ivo Ivanov, executive board member, DE-CIX
Ivo Ivanov, executive board member at DE-CIX, shares exclusive details of the company’s new internet exchange in Istanbul.
What are your strategic priorities in Eurasia over the next 12 months?
Since Capacity Eurasia is happening in Istanbul, we’ll focus there first. We recently announced DE-CIX Istanbul, and it’s launching this week.
We have also announced two other exchanges in the Mediterranean basin this year. DE-CIX Palermo is now in service, and DE-CIX Marseille will come online very shortly.
We’re going to grow these new exchanges over the next year to become regional hubs for high-quality, low-latency network peering. We are strategically focused on delivering a neutral and thriving peering environment across the entire region.
For DE-CIX in general, the concept of a “network centre of gravity” is important. An internet exchange grows in value with the addition of each new network. As we build up these new exchanges over the years, making them increasingly dense centers of gravity for the region will be our goal.
Our flagship exchange in Frankfurt is also growing rapidly. We broke through the 4Tbps traffic mark at the end of April, and we are even quickly approaching 5Tbps. That’s an indication of just how fast Internet traffic is growing around the world. It’s going to continue to be an exciting year of growth for our industry.
What are your hopes with the launch of an Internet exchange in Istanbul? How will it help serve operators in the region?
There is currently a huge need to interconnect critical traffic streams that travel from other regions through Istanbul, to bring them closer to their destinations.
Currently, the primary sources of content are still in Europe and the US. And the political situation in a number of countries also contributes to the fact that networks today are mainly exchanging their data far away from where the users are. We’re seeing pressure on content and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to move closer to the edge.
DE-CIX Istanbul will allow international content and application services to meet the users at the halfway point and will provide more direct paths, lower latency, lower cost, better performance and a better user experience, in general.
And over time, we will see an increasing amount of native content developing in-region. This will continue to drive home the importance of local “centres of gravity” to quickly distribute and deliver that content with the highest levels of quality – internet users don’t tolerate poor performance.
What major telecoms trends have you seen in the Eurasian region this year?
Globally, Internet traffic volumes are increasing rapidly. The drivers of this growth include an increasing number of Internet users, more smart devices, faster broadband speeds and fast-growing video consumption – particularly on mobile devices.
These trends will have an impact in the Eurasian region just as they do globally, and we are already seeing their effect. In fact, some parts of Eurasia are the fastest-growing regions in the world for internet penetration, as they are coming from a smaller initial user base.
With regard to Turkey itself, there is already a large number of networks in the country (470+), and that number continues to grow. ITU figures show that 46% of the Turkish population are Internet users, with this number increasing at 25% each year.
It’s really clear to see the critical role the Internet will continue to play in the lives and livelihoods of the region.
What do you hope to achieve by attending Capacity Eurasia 2015?
We’ve attended Capacity Eurasia for several years. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet with decision makers and executives from the service providers we need to reach.
We’ve just talked about all the remarkable growth we’re seeing in Internet traffic and the role we expect our new DE-CIX Internet exchanges - especially DE-CIX Istanbul - to play in the region. Now is a critical time to talk with networks about the benefits of peering and interconnection, and how it helps to keep the Internet running smoothly and the user experience high. We’ll be doing a lot of that during Capacity Eurasia.
We’ve already scheduled a lot of meetings, and the face-to-face nature of this event allows us to add spontaneous meetings to our roster. Capacity Eurasia is a great place to network, connect and do business.