The New Marseille: From Peering Point to International Content Hub
By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
November 2, 2018
In today’s digital world, physical location is still critically important for the creation and distribution of digital content. One French city is a classic example, says Fabrice Coquio, Managing Director of Interxion France
As the largest port city in France, Marseille is easy to picture as a transportation hub. For centuries, Marseille has enjoyed success in the transport of goods, linking Europe to the rest of the world; now, the city’s geographic proximity to not only the Middle East and Africa, but also China, India and Southeast Asia is playing a strategic role in the transportation of the world’s data.
Marseille has, for many years, been the landing point for submarine cables carrying data between continents all over the world. The city’s unique geographical advantage provided cable consortiums with a transit hub for traffic between Europe and the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Besides being a conversion point for subsea traffic, the city also benefited from terrestrial links back to the FLAP (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris), the traditional innovation centers of Europe.
As if the data converging from three continents weren’t enough, the staggering demand for content from these regions has created a perfect storm resulting in Marseille becoming the fastest growing market in Europe, in terms of international bandwidth shifting the city from a peering and transit hub to a content creation and distribution destination.
Over the past decade, the demand for digital content has exploded—especially in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia and Africa. In Africa, mobile video consumption doubled between 2015 and 2016. In the Middle East, 70% of people consume video through their phones at least once a week, and Asia is seeing strong demand for gaming and sports-related content.
Capitalizing on this opportunity has become a priority for many international organizations, which hope to find new revenue streams from the roughly 4.5 billion people spread across these regions. The underlying IT infrastructure investment needed to support the delivery of this content is of the utmost importance, and IT teams tasked with ensuring optimum performance for content delivery have found an ally in Marseille.