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


ISLAMABAD, JAN 29 /DNA/ – Frankfurt am Main (Germany)/Islamabad (Pakistan), January 29, 2024: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), the largest integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) company of Pakistan and DE-CIX, the world’s leading Internet Exchange (IX) operator, celebrated today the inauguration of ‘Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE) powered by DE-CIX’, the first carrier- neutral IX in the country.

Housed in the PTCL data center in Karachi, the IX is operated by DE-CIX under the DE-CIX as a Service (DaaS) model and built on DE-CIX’s award-winning interconnection infrastructure. The interconnection platform offers local peering, as well as remote access to DE-CIX Frankfurt (Germany), one of the largest IXs in the world. PIE powered by DE-CIX is set to serve as a hub for regional connectivity, enabling local networks low-latency interconnection and the localization of global content, while increasing network stability, scalability, and security.

Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Guest, Dr. Umar Saif, Federal Minister IT & Telecommunication said, “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 are thrilled to collaborate with DE-CIX to bring this state-of-the-art interconnection facility to Pakistan,” said Zarrar Hasham Khan, Group Chief Business Solutions Officer at PTCL & Ufone 4G. He further stated, “As the largest integrated ICT company in Pakistan, we are committed to advancing the country’s digital infrastructure to support widespread digitalization, and this collaboration is a significant step forward in achieving that goal. Our nationwide network and DE-CIX’s interconnection infrastructure will serve as a foundation to enhance Internet experience of our customers while facilitating the local hosting of content by international platforms. We believe this partnership will not only drive digital enablement across the country but also help accelerate the growth of Pakistan’s digital economy.”

“As one of the most populous countries in Asia and with Internet usage growing extremely fast, it is clear that Pakistan needs local interconnection. The Pakistan Internet Exchange powered by DE-CIX will prove itself to be key to unlocking the economic potential of excellent Internet connectivity for the country. The IX will enable national networks to serve world-class Internet connectivity and also attract more international Internet and cloud service providers to do business in Pakistan, allowing the development of a vibrant local digital ecosystem,” commented Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX. “In this way, the people in Pakistan can enjoy the best access to local and international information, content, and services. We at DE-CIX want to serve this great demand for high speed, high quality, stable, and resilient Internet connectivity to guarantee a seamless experience for end users and businesses across the country,” Ivanov continued.

Pakistan Internet Exchange will be joining such success stories as the UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX in Dubai, whose growth and success over the last twelve years has led to it being recognized as an important international Internet hub. The DaaS program includes a set of services – such as installation, maintenance, provisioning, marketing, and sales support – designed for digital infrastructure operators to create their own IX and interconnection platform, fully operated by DE-CIX. It delivers the technical set-up needed for an Internet Exchange as a fully pre-configured and standardized “DE-CIX in a box” solution.