Mobily announced its investments in new submarine cables, terrestrial networks, data centers and internet exchange at the Capacity Europe 2022 Conference, which took place in London. The conference brought the carrier community together under one roof to discuss current and future partnerships, collaborative projects, and the transformation of the wholesale telecom ecosystem fueled by rapid digital transformation. Mobily was a Gold Sponsor at the event and announced and shared its infrastructure expansion initiatives with the carrier community.
Mobily’s wholesale strategy envisages the development of state-of-the-art digital infrastructure that will contribute to the achievement of KSA Vision 2030 targets and the Kingdom’s focus to be the digital hub in the region.
Eng. Thamer Alfadda, Senior Vice President of Wholesale & Carrier Services at Mobily, highlighted that they accelerated national and international infrastructure expansion efforts across submarine and terrestrial networks and DC capacity, as well as new partnerships to enable a carrier-neutral internet ecosystem that is vital for the sustainable growth of ICT sector and contribute to Kingdom’s digital hub vision.
Mobily’s infrastructure expansion spans across several areas including submarine cables, terrestrial networks, data centers, and a neutral internet exchange platform. Mobily has joined SEA-ME-WE 6 submarine cable consortium and will land the 126Tbps capacity cable in its new Yanbu cable landing station when it becomes operational in 2025-Q1. Africa-1 is additionally other submarine cable that Mobily invests in, which spans 10,000km with landings in Kenya, Djibouti, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and France.
Furthermore, to these two new cable investments, Mobily has also highlighted its recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Telecom Egypt to construct the first point-to-point submarine cable connecting the KSA to Egypt. MoU aimed to explore various new ways to connect international capacity to Europe in the west, through Telecom Egypt's network, and to the GCC in the east, through Mobily's network, which is made possible by expanding the two companies' networks and connecting them to neighboring countries.
Moreover, Terrestrial connectivity is a focus area on the infrastructure expansion. Benefiting from Kingdom’s strategic geographic position, Mobily has recently invested in border touchpoints with UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen to increase capacity and ensure seamless connectivity for Saudi terrestrial crossing (transit traffic) as well as the traffic that originates or terminates in KSA, beside modernizing the Saudi National Fiber Network (SNFN) with end-to-end network transformation and agile automation by constructing the Middle East's first 5G and B2B-driven, ultra-broadband optical backbone network.
Carrier neutrality is a key pillar that Mobily emphasizes on to build its digital hub ecosystem and they have recently partnered with Equinix, a top-tier and the largest global data center and Internet Exchange platform provider, to establish full carrier-neutral Internet Exchange (IX) in the JED1 data center facility, a significant gateway for traffic which place KSA digital bridge between Europe, Asia, and Africa and aims to improve the peering ecosystem in the region.
JED1 data center will function as a network-dense and neutral interconnection hub, which makes a compelling commercial case for global and regional ISPs, Operators, OTTs, Content providers, and Enterprises to land and peer in Jeddah, therefore decreasing latency with the removal of trombone effect that arises from the traffic to different hosting locations. Mobily has also developed a strategic plan to expand Data Center capacity, where overall DC capacity will reach 10 MW, and this will also support Mobily’s digital hub.
With these significant investments in national backbone, global interconnectivity, integrated digital infrastructure, Data centers, and service delivery capabilities, Mobily aims to strengthen its position as a leading digital enabler partner for operators and digital ecosystem players in the region.