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Establishing Borneo-IX – a new interconnection hub for Southeast Asia: Brunei national telecommunications provider UNN and DE-CIX form strategic partnership

Brunei Darussalam (Brunei), Frankfurt (Germany), 04 February 2021. Unified National Networks (UNN), the national network infrastructure operator of Brunei, headquartered in Brunei Darussalam on the island of Borneo, and DE-CIX, the world’s leading Internet Exchange operator, announce today a strategic partnership, establishing Borneo-IX powered by DE-CIX. Borneo-IX is ready for service and is located at the Tungku Submarine Cable Station Brunei Darussalam. The new interconnection platform is set to serve the Southeast Asian region in extension to other DE-CIX metro markets in Malaysia and Singapore, acting as a further new gateway between the US and Southeast Asia. The largest island in Asia and the third largest in the world, Borneo is well-positioned in the center of Southeast Asia and Brunei boasts landing stations for several international submarine cables, as well as being connected terrestrially with Malaysia and Indonesia. Borneo-IX therefore offers domestic and regional customers the shortest-route and dedicated access to worldwide Internet hubs in Asia, Europe, and America, and enables global networks to get closer to users in the densely populated Southeast Asian region.

UNN, based in Brunei, is able to offer telecommunication and interconnection services in the region and for the region, with features and quality parameters equal to key locations in Asia, Europe and the US. The newly founded IX will create new opportunities for Bruneian businesses to collaborate and expand internationally, while attracting international organizations to consider Brunei for business and investments. Borneo-IX, combined with the modernized and performant fixed and mobile national networks of UNN, is a major building block for developing the local telecommunications industry and becoming a competitive ICT hub for the region.

The new interconnection hub will be operated by DE-CIX on behalf of UNN, as part of the DE-CIX-as-a-Service (DaaS) program. The DaaS program includes a set of services – such as installation, maintenance, provisioning, marketing and sales support – designed for data center operators or other third parties to create their own Internet Exchange and Interconnection platform fully operated by DE-CIX. Examples of DE-CIX-as-a-Service include the success story behind UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX in Dubai, the recently-launched SEECIX powered by DE-CIX in Athens, Greece, and the German Ruhr-CIX. DE-CIX delivers the technical set-up needed for an Internet Exchange as a fully pre-configured and standardized “DE-CIX in a box” solution – easy to plug and play.

Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International, says, “With more than 600 million inhabitants in Southeast Asia, there is massive digital demand that needs to be served. 80% of the relevant international content providers are doing business in the region and are in need of robust and flexible interconnection services. While Singapore has been a major content hub for the region for the last decade the DE-CIX Asia interconnection ecosystem brings low-latency and high-speed connectivity to underserved areas of the region, enabling the exchange of traffic locally, but also direct interconnection with networks at other DE-CIX IXs in the region. With this partnership, we take another step towards better localization of interconnection services across the Southeast Asian region on the strategically important island of Borneo.”

Dr. Steffen Oehler, CEO of UNN, commented, “UNN, as the national telecommunications network operator in Brunei, is part of the global telecommunications industry in our highly interconnected world. We have a special responsibility to strive for state-of-the-art telecommunication and ICT services delivered by modern infrastructure. In doing so, we are factually competing with leading operators in the region and worldwide. Digital services demanded by businesses and organizations today are all offered in the global market, and therefore we need to be attractive when compared with the best international providers. Cooperating with the leading provider DE-CIX enables us to offer connectivity capabilities similar to Singapore, Frankfurt and London. We believe this is a key milestone for the telecommunications industry in Brunei. We are proud that we have been able to implement this in a short time and be ready for service in the year of Brunei’s presidency in the ASEAN community.”

With a single access at Borneo-IX, customers will be able to enjoy a comprehensive set of interconnection services. This includes peering locally with other Southeast Asian networks, OTTs, and enterprises, gaining access to a vibrant Southeast Asian interconnection ecosystem, and connecting to other DE-CIX locations in due course. Within the DE-CIX Asia interconnection ecosystem, all DE-CIX IXs in Southeast Asia are interconnected. Customers at any of the exchanges are able to access networks at any of the other IXs in the region, offering a seamless connection, top quality interconnection services, and the most cost-effective way to peer across Southeast Asia.

“DE-CIX has proven record of accomplishment in successfully creating interconnection hubs worldwide in regions where customers are in need of easy-to-access interconnection services. The key content and cloud-computing players have started to extend their footprint throughout Southeast Asia – including to the island of Borneo. The demand for low latency and the huge traffic volumes driven by video, gaming, and in general digitalization in the industry – such as finance, e-health and mobility – are massive. DE-CIX’s mission is to support all of these needs today and into the future with excellent interconnection services,” Ivanov concludes.

DE-CIX’s global neutral interconnection ecosystem extends all the way from DE-CIX IXs in North America, Europe, the Middle East, India, and on to Southeast Asia, connecting more than 2100 networks overall.

For more information on Borneo-IX and its services, visit the Borneo-IX page or email any inquiries to borneoix@unn.com.bn or call (+673) 729 8306.