10 June 2021

DE-CIX Annual Report in Covid-19 Year 2020: Rapid customer and data growth for the 25th anniversary

  • 10% increase in global revenues; share of international activities rises by 34%
  • 18% global customer growth across all locations
  • 6 new sites: Largest international expansion since foundation in 1995

Frankfurt am Main, 4 June 2021. DE-CIX was able to further expand its position as the world's leading operator of Internet Exchanges even in the challenging pandemic year of 2020. Global revenues grew by 10% to €43.4 million, and revenues from international activities increased by 34% compared to 2019, accounting for 17.4% of total revenues. In addition, the company recorded customer growth of almost 18%, growing to over 2,200 customers last year. The Frankfurt exchange broke through the stratosphere, passing the 1,000-customer mark. The global pandemic triggered increased demand for bandwidth among customers. For example, total connected customer capacity at DE-CIX locations increased by 33% to a new record of 73 terabits (Tbit) at year-end. With a total of six new locations in Barcelona, Chicago, Richmond, Singapore, Athens and the Ruhr region in Germany, DE-CIX achieved its largest international expansion since it was founded 25 years ago.

“The global pandemic has taught us how essential a functioning digital infrastructure is for both private and professional life. Did we have concerns that the Internet would not be able to withstand the global load during Covid-19? No: Because this is exactly what the Internet was, almost 50 years ago, designed for. Nevertheless, the further expansion of secure and resilient digital infrastructure must be rapidly pushed forward. The lowest possible latencies for data traffic will play a dominant role here. With its experience from the past 25 years, DE-CIX will make a decisive contribution to the digital projects of the future, such as the European cloud infrastructure project Gaia-X and the automation of “Infrastructure as a Service”. In addition, we are already supporting enterprises from a wide range of industries in implementing new interconnection strategies. We will continue to advance consistently along this path in the coming years,” says Harald A. Summa, CEO of DE-CIX Group AG, on the challenges of the future.

DE-CIX in Germany – strong growth and showcase project “Ruhr-CIX”

25 years after its foundation in 1995, DE-CIX Frankfurt broke its own record twice: In March 2020, it reached a data throughput of 9 Tbit/s and in November it exceeded the 10 Tbit/s mark – an overall increase of 28% compared to peak traffic in 2019. Customers expanded their bandwidth at DE-CIX’s flagship Internet Exchange by 26% to nearly 52 Tbit of connected capacity, with 33% growth in 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) ports. In addition, DE-CIX Frankfurt welcomed its 1000th customer in 2020. The Internet Exchanges in Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Munich followed the success of their elder sibling in Frankfurt in 2020. DE-CIX Hamburg increased its customer bandwidth by a remarkable 127% and enjoyed growth in peak traffic of almost 150%. DE-CIX Dusseldorf recorded an increase in customers of almost 65%, while the southernmost German IX, DE-CIX Munich, saw its peak traffic rise by over 105%, with customer bandwidth increasing by around 30%.

A hitherto unique project in Germany saw the light of day in 2020: “Ruhr-CIX powered by DE-CIX” was taken into operation for the regional Internet companies DOKOM21, TMR and GELSEN-NET of the three Ruhr region cities Dortmund, Bochum, and Gelsenkirchen. The new Internet Exchange will be operated as part of the “DE-CIX as a Service” (DaaS) partner program. The DaaS program includes a range of services, such as the provision and installation of technology and its maintenance, as well as marketing and sales support. “This partner model was successfully implemented in Dubai years ago, and is an important part of our future global expansion strategy,” concludes Harald A. Summa.

From North America to Asia: International business continues to pick up speed

Not only in terms of revenues, but also in terms of customer and capacity growth, the DE-CIX sites outside of Germany around the world continued their success story in 2020. With the announcement of two new sites in North America (Chicago and Richmond, Virginia), DE-CIX was able to double its existing footprint in the region by the end of 2020. Significant growth was recorded at the two well-established Internet Exchanges in New York and Dallas, with the number of customers at DE-CIX New York increasing by 15% and DE-CIX Dallas by 38%.

The four DE-CIX Internet Exchanges in Southern Europe – Lisbon, Madrid, Marseille, and Palermo – were also able to report solid and continuous growth. The number of connected networks (ASNs) grew by almost 25% to just under 400, while total connected customer bandwidth increased by almost 40% to a new high of just under 4800 Gbit. DE-CIX in Southern Europe will be further expanded by summer 2021 to include an Internet Exchange in Barcelona.

Five years after its establishment, DE-CIX Istanbul has become an important interconnection gateway between the Middle East and Europe. Last year, this IX saw customer growth of 16%, bringing connected customer capacity up 37% year-on-year to a new all-time high of more than 1000 Gbit.

Expansion to new locations and data centers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Fujairah was announced for UAE-IX in Dubai. In 2020, the UAE-IX saw a 63% increase in total customer bandwidth to over 1400 Gbit, and peak data throughput increased by over 70% – in part due to the strict local lock-down.

Growth also continued unabated at the DE-CIX locations in India. The largest of the four locations, DE-CIX Mumbai, saw a 75% increase in total customer bandwidth and became the second largest Internet Exchange in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

Announced in late 2019, DE-CIX and local Malaysian Internet Exchange operator JBIX, which runs three Internet Exchanges in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Singapore, successfully merged in 2020 to form DE-CIX Malaysia and DE-CIX Singapore. Further regional expansion in Southeast Asia is planned for the coming years.

“The year 2021 marks the beginning of a new decade – perhaps the most exciting digital decade since the dawn of the Internet. We want to offer our customers the best possible interconnection services for their specific needs – regardless of the industry they come from. After all, digitalization and interconnection affect all companies, and not just since Covid-19. We are taking a two-pronged strategic approach here: Firstly, we are adapting and expanding our interconnection services to meet the needs of enterprises. Secondly, we are striving for an increasingly dense geographical presence. In this way, we can offer our customers the lowest possible latency in data transmission. For us, latency is the new currency in the next chapter of global digitalization”, comments Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International, on the company’s strategic plans.