With members in Europe, Africa, North America, South East Asia and the Middle East, LINX can genuinely claim to be a worldwide organisation whose extensive global reach continues to encourage the leading networks to peer at LINX.
Membership has increased a staggering 32% over the last 12 months with MTN Network Solutions, Qube Networks, Tavitex, Catalyst2 Services, Alta Tecnología en Comunicaciones, Econet Carrier Services, EuroAccess, Init Seven AG, IT Inside Out, Open Hosting and Etisalat all joining in 2006 alone.
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, or Etisalat, is based in the United Arab Emirates, and is LINX’s 210th member and the first from the Middle East. The company, formed in 1976, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. They provide voice, wireless and data telecommunication services to the UAE and is one of the leading service providers in the entire Middle East.
The company was one of the first to introduce Mobile Telephones in the region as far back as 1982, and their GSM Service was launched in September 1994. Etisalat’s rate of growth has been very impressive to say the least with their subscriber base of 130,000 at the end of 1996 increasing to well over 4.5 million mobile users currently, a penetration rate that has exceeded 95 per cent.
Mr. Saeed Al Bahhar, General Manager – International Business, of Etisalat said: “By joining LINX, Etisalat gains access to all the member ISPs from a single location which is very important to us in our drive to maximise our network efficiency.”
Mr. Al Bahhar added: “Our commitment to top quality connectivity will be a positive incentive to existing and potential customers so being part of LINX makes great commercial sense.”
Etisalat also operates EMIX (Emirates Internet Exchange), the first Network Access Point (NAP) in the Middle East. EMIX offers IP transit connectivity to ISPs in the region with a capacity over 6 Gbps (Gigabits per second) which is the highest bandwidth capacity available with any single provider in the region.
In addition to their network services, Etisalat run an academy and a university which were both were founded to help people keep pace with rapidly changing technology in the field of telecommunications. The university offers a number of certificated courses for students.
Other business units and subsidiary companies include a data clearing house, a cable TV service provider, a submarine cable laying and maintenance company, a smart-card production unit, and an ISP and e-Services powerhouse. The Corporation has also recently expanded operations to other markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and has won significant licence bids against other telecom majors.
Etisalat takes the number of countries served by LINX members to over 30 but LINX is not stopping there and is looking to attract new members from new territories during the coming year. LINX is also striving to build relationships with other organisations in countries where they already have a presence.
Vanessa Evans, LINX sales & marketing manager commented: “As LINX grows so does the potential markets for our members. As an organisation we prefer to look forward and with so many providers approaching LINX looking to do business, it will not be long before we are announcing our 250th member.”
Notes to editors:
1. LINX (www.linx.net) is a mutual, not-for-profit organisation whose members include almost all the major UK ISPs and content delivery service providers plus many from the USA, mainland Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa. Every member of LINX has an equal vote in the management of the organisation’s affairs.
2. More than 96 per cent of the Internet traffic exchanged between ISPs in the UK passes through LINX equipment.
3. Connection of Internet networks at an IXP such as LINX is known as ‘peering’. LINX offers members the option of establishing private one-to-one peering between networks and/or ‘public peering’ where traffic can potentially be exchanged with any other member linked to the exchange.
4. The Internet traffic at LINX consists of a wide variety of data including website downloads, business information and e-mails. However, one gigabit is roughly equivalent to 60,000 average email messages - so peak traffic at LINX would now accommodate more than 6 million email messages per second.