Qatar goes live with its first ever internet exchange ahead of the World Cup

Doha exchange

The IX promises to be the first of others as the country steps up its effort to improve international connectivity for businesses and citizens.

Qatar has gone live with its first internet exchange to improve its global connectivity ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

Launched by the country’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), the Qatar Internet Exchange Point (QIXP) is established in MEEZA’s data centre in Doha, and will enable local networks to exchange information efficiently at a common point within the country, instead of exchanging the local information outside the country.

This helps ensure that internet users in Qatar have faster and more secure access to digital content. MEEZA is a local IT solutions provider.

QIXP steering committee members, such as the Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN), the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Ooredoo Qatar, Vodafone Qatar and Gulf Bridge International (GBI), attended the launch.

QIXP is deemed of strategic importance in terms of information security and internet infrastructure stability and sustainability in Qatar, and for supporting major events such as the World Cup in 2022, said Qatar’s government.

Abdulla Jassmi, technical affairs department manager for the CRA and QIXP committee chairman, said: “The committee will continue to work as a team to follow up on the progress of QIXP, in order to meet the market requirements of providing advanced and innovative services to contribute to achieving the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

Other internet exchange points are set to be activated during 2020, by using the existing data centres of telecom service providers, for instance, the government said.

Microsoft is set to open a new cloud region in Qatar, it was revealed last December.