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MENA Watch: Ooredoo-NVIDIA partnership to drive region’s AI revolution

Ooredoo declined to comment on the specific Nvidia technology it planned to put in its data centres, citing availability and client demand as factors

Ooredoo Group has said it is now an NVIDIA Cloud Partner (NCP), in line with its goal of dominating the MENA area regarding digital infrastructure providers.

The group is using this partnership to take advantage of NVIDIA’s cutting-edge accelerated computing technology and contribute to the AI revolution in the area.

With this arrangement, NVIDIA will launch on a larger scale for the first time in a region where Washington has restricted the export of advanced American chips to prevent Chinese companies from utilising the Middle East as a backdoor to obtain the newest artificial intelligence technology.

According to a statement from Ooredoo, this will make it the first business in the region to offer direct access to NVIDIA’s AI and graphics processing technologies to customers of its data centres in Qatar, Algeria, Tunisia, Oman, Kuwait, and the Maldives.

According to Ronnie Vasishta, senior vice president of telecom at NVIDIA, Ooredoo will be able to assist its clients in deploying generative AI applications more effectively thanks to the technology.

In an interview with Reuters, Ooredoo CEO Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo stated, “Our B2B clients, thanks to this arrangement, will have access to services that presumably their competitors (won’t) for another 18 to 24 months.”

The contract was signed on June 19 on the fringes of the TM Forum in Copenhagen, but the firms did not reveal its worth.

Additionally, Ooredoo declined to comment on the specific NVIDIA technology it planned to put in its data centres, citing availability and client demand as factors. Washington restricts the company’s most advanced semiconductor exports but permits the transfer of some NVIDIA technology to the Middle East.

According to Fakhroo, Ooredoo intends to nearly treble its present 40-megawatt capacity by the end of the decade and is investing USD 1 billion to increase it by an additional 20 to 25 megawatts.

Ooredoo is creating an AI-ready platform with NVIDIA’s full-stack innovation in systems, software, and services, capitalising on the market need for hyper-connectivity and accelerated computing throughout its MENA footprint.

This platform will be an invaluable tool for governments, enabling businesses and startups to safely handle their confidential datasets and generate insightful tokens that drive innovations for their users.

“With the help of NVIDIA’s full-stack platform for accelerated computing and generative AI, Ooredoo is prepared to be at the forefront of the AI revolution in MENA, driving digitalisation and innovation as the region’s leading digital infrastructure provider,” stated Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Group CEO of Ooredoo, while adding, “Our goal in collaborating with NVIDIA is to satisfy the rapidly increasing need for faster computing infrastructure to enable cutting-edge artificial intelligence models.”

Governments, businesses, and startups in the Maldives, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Qatar, and Tunisia will be able to utilise NVIDIA’s most recent full-stack AI platform thanks to this partnership.

To serve the area, Ooredoo intends to install hundreds of NVIDIA Tensor Core GPUs in its AI data centres. This will allow users to take advantage of a cutting-edge AI platform with sophisticated hardware, software, and tools. This will lead to operational efficiencies and process optimisation across sectors.

Ooredoo’s GPU-as-a-Service, which provides on-demand access to some of the most cutting-edge AI and machine learning tools available, including generative AI, one of the most revolutionary technologies available today, will benefit customers.

“As a trusted regional telecoms operator, Ooredoo Group combines strong enterprise and consumer relationships with the ability to invest in and deploy AI infrastructure and services,” stated Vasishta. Customers of Ooredoo will find it simpler to implement generative AI apps and services thanks to NVIDIA’s full-stack AI computing platform.

The partnership between Ooredoo Group and NVIDIA is a component of its overarching plan to strengthen AI infrastructure in the MENA area, facilitating improved security, optimised performance, and customisation by regional norms.

Consequently, the nations in which Ooredoo conducts business can set up local clouds, which will support the growth of regional AI ecosystems and apps while strengthening data security protocols.

With GPU-as-infrastructure available, Ooredoo’s customers will have the option of hosting accelerated computing on-site or integrating it with their cloud solutions. This guarantees that clients have access to the most effective and customised AI processing resources.

The programme, which will provide consumers with access to a cutting-edge AI cloud platform, is anticipated to stimulate economic growth, employment creation, and technical innovation throughout the region.

Ooredoo intends to maintain compliance with local regulations and optimise the advantages of its artificial intelligence initiatives to propel autonomous AI objectives by closely collaborating with stakeholders in each nation.

Within Ooredoo’s digital ecosystem are autonomous companies that specialise in wireless towers, financial technology, and subsea cable projects, in addition to basic telecom services and a specialised data centre platform.

It fits in with Ooredoo’s plan to become a dae-layered multi-enterprise holding company that specialises in telecommunications and infrastructure, with the ultimate objective of becoming the go-to neutral carrier in the market. The company wants to foster synergies throughout its ecosystem and assure the sustainability and growth of its business.

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