Etisalat launches Smarthub IX

04 March 2013 | Kavit Majithia

Etisalat has announced the launch of Smarthub IX, a new regional internet exchange and IP transit hub for global ISPs to access internet content, Capacity Daily can reveal.

The Smarthub IX launch is designed to connect a range of multiple diverse and international networks to several IX platforms around the world, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Singapore, New York and Los Angeles.

Coinciding with the start of the Capacity Middle East event in Dubai, the move signals an increased focus in the UAE for content services.

The region’s operators have recently stepped up providing connectivity and services out of the Middle East and onto Europe, Asia and Africa.

Etisalat claims its Smarthub is the region’s largest content hub, and will host and provide connectivity for Yahoo!, Microsoft, Blackberry, Akamai and CDN Networks.

Etisalat’s Smarthub IX launch comes off the back of the introduction of Smarthub IPX, a global standard for mobile operator peering based on GSMA standards.

Ali Amiri, EVP of carrier & wholesale services at Etisalat, commented on the UAE’s increasing importance as a regional and content hub as a reason for the company’s investment. “Content providers want reliable, easy and cost effective access to network operators who want easy access to content,” he said.

“The launch of Smarthub IX has addressed this need among providers and is a natural evolution in the Smarthub journey.”

Etisalat says it is now the first company in the region to offer IP transit services through Emix, the UAE internet exchange. Smarthub IX will also further enable cloud, video and ecommerce providers to access the region.