Asteroid international launches an automated IXP in Mombasa for an experience from interconnection space

Asteroid International launches Internet exchange point (IXP) hub in Mombasa, making it the largest regional Internet hub in East Africa.

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A beach in Mombasa, Kenya

Asteroid International has announced the launch of its state-of-the-art and highly automated Internet Exchange Point (IXP) solution in Mombasa.

Located in the modern, hyper connected, carrier neutral icolo facilities in Mombasa, the Asteroid IXP will enable much improved Internet interconnection in East Africa and support the region’s strong digital growth. The exchange point already has big tech giants such as Facebook and Google present, as well as several local Kenyan and African networks.

“We are very proud to deploy an exchange point in Kenya”, says Asteroid CEO Remco Van Mook. “Mombasa is the perfect place to interconnect the region using the world class icolo facilities. There is a tremendous need for modern, well-run, cost effective IXPs in Africa.”

Mook further noted that the Asteroid IXP will provide modern interconnection and contribute to improved Internet accessibility by lowering costs and better Internet performance for Internet users in region.

Having content and services close to the local Internet user is key to getting good response times and low latency, but it also makes those services and content more reliable, and less vulnerable to external disruptions.

An Internet Exchange point allows many different Internet players to come together and exchange Internet traffic locally and efficiently, through “peering”. The Asteroid IXP platform is built on state-of-the-art technology, lightweight, scalable architecture, and advanced toolsets. Designed with automation at the core, the Asteroid solution provides security from day one, a modern feature set and has proven to be the most efficient and cost effective solution on the market.

“We are very excited to partner with Asteroid,” says icolo CEO Ranjith Cherickel. Adding; “Asteroid bring considerable experience from the interconnection space. Their ultramodern IXP solution at the icolo data centre, will not only help to significantly improve the performance between ISPs in the region, but also attract new players to the country and boost the interconnection growth more broadly.”

The icolo data centre is located in Mombasa, on the East Coast of Kenya, where all major Internet submarine cables come into the region, which makes it an exceptionally suitable place for an Internet exchange point hub. The location is already attracting many local, regional, and international players, and the addition of the Asteroid IXP is setting Mombasa up to become the largest regional Internet hub in East Africa.

In Africa, it is not uncommon to see Internet traffic destined from one local ISP to another leave the continent through expensive international links, before returning to reach the other local party. This often results in delays and high costs for all parties. An Internet exchange point, allows Internet players to exchange that traffic locally, without the need for third parties or expensive international links.

 IXP

An Internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical location through which Internet infrastructure companies such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and CDNs connect with each other and exchange traffic. This allows different networks on the Internet directly to interconnect in one single hub, and shorten their path to the transit from other participating networks, thereby reducing latency, improving round-trip time, and potentially reducing costs.

 Peering

Peering is when two Internet networks connect and exchange traffic. It allows them to directly hand off traffic between each other’s customers, without having to pay a third party to carry that traffic across the Internet for them. It happens at an IXP and is often done in a settlement-free manner, as a mutually beneficial trade for both peering parties.

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