Ooredoo inks major Middle East AI deal with Nvidia

Ooredoo inks major Middle East AI deal with Nvidia

QLNews
By QLNews

Nvidia has signed a landmark agreement with Qatari telecommunication giant Ooredoo, under which the US company’s artificial intelligence technology will be used at Ooredoo's data centres in five Middle Eastern countries — Qatar, Algeria, Tunisia, Oman, and Kuwait.

Ooredoo will become an official NVIDIA Cloud Partner, leveraging NVIDIA’s advanced accelerated computing platform to help enable an AI revolution in the region.

Capitalising on the significant market demand for accelerated computing and hyperconnectivity across its MENA footprint, Ooredoo will develop an AI-ready platform powered by NVIDIA’s full-stack innovation across systems, software, and services.

This platform will serve as a valuable resource, supporting governments and empowering enterprises and startups to securely process their private datasets, as well as produce valuable insights as tokens that power innovations for its users.

“Implementing NVIDIA's full-stack platform for accelerated computing and generative AI, Ooredoo is equipped to be at the forefront of the AI revolution in MENA, driving digitalisation and innovation as the leading digital infrastructure provider in the region. Working with NVIDIA, we aim to meet the significantly growing demand for accelerated computing infrastructure to support advanced AI models,” said Ooredoo CEO Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo.

The agreement marks Nvidia’s first large-scale foray into a region where Washington has curbed the export of sophisticated US chips. The curbs were placed to prevent Chinese firms from using them as a backdoor to access new AI technology.

“Our b2b clients, thanks to this agreement, will have access to services that probably their competitors (won’t) for another 18 to 24 months,” said Fakhroo.

Ooredoo plans to deploy thousands of NVIDIA Tensor Core GPUs in its AI data centres to support the region, enabling customers to leverage a state-of-the-art AI platform with advanced infrastructure, tools, and software. This will optimise processes and drive operational efficiencies across industries.

Customers will benefit from Ooredoo’s GPU-as-a-Service, which offers on-demand access to some of the most advanced AI and machine learning tools available — including one of the most transformative technologies available today, generative AI.

“As a trusted regional telecommunications provider, Ooredoo combines deep enterprise and consumer relationships with the ability to invest in and deploy AI infrastructure and services. By providing NVIDIA’s full-stack AI computing platform to customers, Ooredoo will help make it easier for their customers to deploy generative AI applications and services,” said NVIDIA’s Senior Vice President of Telecom Ronnie Vasishta.

Ooredoo Group’s collaboration with NVIDIA is part of its larger aim to boost AI infrastructure in the MENA region while enabling enhanced security, optimised performance, and customisation to align with local standards.

As a result, the countries where Ooredoo operates can establish local clouds, facilitating the development of local AI ecosystems and applications and reinforcing data security measures.

Ooredoo will be able to offer GPU-as-infrastructure, giving its customers the flexibility to integrate accelerated computing with their own cloud solutions or directly host them on premises. This ensures customers have the most efficient and tailored AI processing capabilities at their disposal.

The initiative is expected to drive economic growth, job creation, and technological innovation across the region by empowering customers with a state-of-the-art AI cloud platform. Ooredoo will work on the implementation in close coordination with the stakeholders in each country to ensure alignment with local requirements and to maximise the benefits of its AI initiatives to advance sovereign AI goals.

Ooredoo is investing $1bn to boost its regional data centre capacity by 20 to 25 additional megawatts on top of the 40 megawatts it currently has, and plans to almost triple that by the end of the decade, Fakhroo said.

The company has carved out its data centers into a separate company following a similar move last year to create the Middle East’s largest tower company in a deal with Kuwait’s Zain and Dubai’s TASC Towers Holding.

Ooredoo also has plans to carve out its undersea cables and fiber network into a separate entity, Fakhroo said.

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