Over the last three years Marseille has been the fastest growing interconnection hub in Europe. This has been driven by Marseille’s strategic role as the digital gateway between Europe and Africa, Middle East and Asia. There are 13 submarine cable systems from these regions landing directly in Marseille, and total potential capacity on these systems is now over 150 Tbsp. The number of networks with points of presence in Marseille has grown from 50 to 120 in the last 36 months as regional networks seek to cater to the burgeoning need for content to be exchanged.
The presence of so many submarine cable systems, and the strong increase in internet traffic are important factors explaining the growth of Marseille as an interconnection hub. But not every submarine cable landing point has seen the same kind of growth that Marseille has enjoyed. So, what have been the additional ingredients behind Marseille’s success?
Firstly, Marseille operates in a deregulated market, enabling vibrant competition between service providers that can connect Marseille to other key European cities. International networks delivering capacity into Marseille can choose from over 30 backhaul providers all of whom have been enhancing their services from Marseille across Europe.
Secondly is the presence of a carrier-neutral data centre in the form of Interxion MRS1. Interxion’s focus on building a community of common interest within the facility means each participant in Marseille can maximise value derived from their deployment. There are 5 leading content distribution networks, 4 Internet Exchanges and major cloud and content platforms present in Marseille. The city has therefore transformed from the purely transit location of 5 years ago into one where content is stored and exchanged between networks.
The final factor behind Marseille’s development is the common vision for Information Technology shared between national and local government authorities and IT companies in Marseille. This is no more evident than in the close collaboration that has existed between the Marseille Port Authorities and Interxion on the development of Interxion’s second data centre in the city.
Marseille’s dramatic growth is the result of a symbiotic relationship between submarine cable systems that originate in Africa, Middle East and Asia and the Marseille market place. The participants of the city’s interconnection community are already deriving huge value from their investments, and are well placed to benefit from the further acceleration of content distribution that is predicted from the city.