PTCL launches first neutral Internet Exchange in Pakistan powered by DE-CIX

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and DE-CIX jointly marked the inauguration of the ‘Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE) powered by DE-CIX,’ the country’s pioneering carrier-neutral IX. Situated in the PTCL data center in Karachi, this IX is operated by DE-CIX under the DE-CIX as a Service (DaaS) model and is constructed on DE-CIX’s acclaimed interconnection infrastructure. The platform facilitates local peering and remote access to DE-CIX Frankfurt (Germany), one of the world’s largest IXs.

PIE powered by DE-CIX is positioned to serve as a central hub for regional connectivity, fostering low-latency interconnection for local networks, localizing global content, and enhancing network stability, scalability, and security. During the event, Chief Guest Dr. Umar Saif, Federal Minister of IT & Telecommunication, addressed the significance of this milestone.

“Pakistan is a massive digital market, with an internet user-base larger than the population of Italy. Over the past few years, we have made significant strides in advancing fiber connectivity. We got two fiber loops from Kashgar to Rawalpindi, further extended to Karachi by PTCL. Additionally, multiple submarine cables making landfall in Karachi further enhance our connectivity. Now,  PTCL Business Solution’s carrier neutral Internet Exchange, managed by a tier 1 IX operator, DE-CIX, is up and running and generates exciting prospects for localized content hosting from leading platforms like YouTube, Netflix and TikTok. The content cached and routed from Pakistan can seamlessly reach other markets, positioning us as the regional digital connectivity hub. It can generate annual revenues, ranging from $200-400 million through transit traffic to substantially add to our economy.”

“We’re excited about our collaboration with DE-CIX to introduce this cutting-edge interconnection facility to Pakistan,” said Zarrar Hasham Khan, Group Chief Business Solutions Officer at PTCL & Ufone 4G. He emphasized, “As the largest integrated ICT company in Pakistan, our commitment to advancing the country’s digital infrastructure aligns with our goal of supporting widespread digitalization. This partnership is a significant step forward in achieving that objective. Leveraging our nationwide network alongside DE-CIX’s interconnection infrastructure, we aim to enhance our customers’ internet experience and enable the local hosting of content by international platforms. We believe this collaboration will not only drive digital enablement across the country but also accelerate the growth of Pakistan’s digital economy.”

Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX, highlighted the importance of local interconnection in Pakistan due to its rapid internet usage growth. He expressed, “The Pakistan Internet Exchange powered by DE-CIX will play a crucial role in unlocking the economic potential of excellent internet connectivity in the country. By enabling national networks to provide world-class internet connectivity, it will attract more international Internet and cloud service providers, fostering a vibrant local digital ecosystem. This will ensure the people in Pakistan have optimal access to local and international information, content, and services, meeting the demand for high-speed, high-quality, stable, and resilient internet connectivity.”

The Pakistan Internet Exchange, modeled after successful initiatives like the UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX in Dubai, is expected to become a vital international internet hub. DE-CIX’s DaaS program, encompassing services such as installation, maintenance, provisioning, marketing, and sales support, provides digital infrastructure operators with the tools to create their own IX and interconnection platform. This fully operational solution, known as “DE-CIX in a box,” delivers the technical setup required for an Internet Exchange.

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