Damac's digital unit and Vodafone invest $100m in new Turkey data centre

Project in Izmir will have 6MW capacity and help boost the country's digital transformation and economy

Engin Aksoy, chief executive of Vodafone Turkey, second left, and Aqil Ali, vice chairman of Edgnex Data Centres by Damac, second right, during a press conference in Istanbul announcing the launch of the data centre to be built in Izmir. Photo: Edgnex
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Edgnex Data Centres by Damac and British telecoms operator Vodafone are investing $100 million in a new data centre project in Turkey, aimed at boosting the country's digital transformation and economy.

The data centre, which will be built in Turkey's third most populous city of Izmir, will have a capacity of 6 megawatts and is expected to be completed by 2025, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

It will offer "end-to-end services" and be positioned as a "one-stop-shop", connecting to Europe through terrestrial and submarine cables.

The centre "will serve specifically to content creators, wholesale service providers and businesses in need of disaster recovery centre services", the statement said.

Turkey, which is introducing a broad digital transformation strategy, is "exerting all efforts" to help the country "not only consume technology, but also produce technology by using its resources effectively", according to a statement by the government's Digital Transformation Office (DTO) on its website.

The project in Izmir will provide "essential digital infrastructure for the growing market on Turkey's western coast", on the back of high demand for data centres in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Aqil Ali, vice chairman and board member of Edgnex Data Centres, said in the statement.

"Izmir [is] an ideal location to meet this need," he said. "Our goal is to build global strategic partnerships that will have a major effect on local digital economies and the collaboration with Vodafone will result in a top-notch facility in a constantly evolving market."

Remote working trends, largely set off by the Covid-19 pandemic, have led to increased data consumption fuelling the adoption of cloud services.

The adoption of these services has continued to grow in the Middle East amid the rise of technology savvy young consumers and an evolving digital landscape, underpinned by governments' efforts to develop the economy.

This has given data centre and cloud providers an incentive to tap into the potential being offered by the region.

Among the most notable global companies that have invested in the region are Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, IBM and Alibaba Cloud, which have all opened cloud and data centres in the Middle East.

Izmir has seven data centres, tied with the capital Ankara and Bursa, while Istanbul has 40, data from Statista shows.

Revenue in Turkey's data centre market is projected to exceed $2 billion by 2028, from an estimated $1.62 billion this year, at a compound annual growth rate of 5.8 per cent, with network infrastructure to comprise $1.28 billion this year alone, it added.

The global cloud computing market, on the other hand, is expected to hit nearly $1.27 trillion by 2028, from an estimated $626.4 billion last year, at annual growth of 15 per cent, according to research firm Markets and Markets.

"Over the next five years, our plan is to grow exponentially with investment in data centre, cloud solutions, cybersecurity, mobile private networks and the Internet of Things," said Engin Aksoy, chief executive of Vodafone Turkey.

"We believe that Turkey should take part in this rising economy. It remains crucial to invest in reliable and high-capacity data centres for cloud computing.”

Updated: February 20, 2024, 1:41 PM