Home Community Insights Nvidia Partners with Ooredoo to Deploy AI Technology in the Middle East Despite US Restrictions

Nvidia Partners with Ooredoo to Deploy AI Technology in the Middle East Despite US Restrictions

Nvidia Partners with Ooredoo to Deploy AI Technology in the Middle East Despite US Restrictions

Nvidia, the global leader in AI and graphics processing technology, has signed a groundbreaking deal with Ooredoo, the Qatari telecoms giant, to deploy its advanced AI technology across data centers in five Middle Eastern countries.

This agreement marks Nvidia’s first major foray into a region where the U.S. has restricted the export of sophisticated chips to prevent Chinese firms from accessing the latest AI technology through Middle Eastern intermediaries.

Ooredoo’s CEO, Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, disclosed the deal to Reuters, emphasizing the strategic importance of this partnership. Under the agreement, Ooredoo’s data centers in Qatar, Algeria, Tunisia, Oman, Kuwait, and the Maldives will be the first in the region to provide clients with direct access to Nvidia’s cutting-edge AI and graphics processing technology.

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“This deal positions us ahead of our competitors, offering our B2B clients services that others in the region won’t have for another 18 to 24 months,” Fakhroo stated.

The collaboration aims to enhance Ooredoo’s capability to support its customers in deploying generative AI applications, a goal highlighted by Nvidia’s senior vice president of telecom, Ronnie Vasishta.

Navigating Geopolitical Challenges

Nvidia’s expansion into the Middle East, despite U.S. export restrictions, underlines a significant shift in the company’s position when it comes to relevance in the global chip industry. Washington has permitted the export of certain Nvidia technologies to the Middle East while curbing the export of the company’s most advanced chips to prevent misuse by Chinese entities.

The deal with Ooredoo marks Nvidia’s major step into the Middle East and is expected to pave the way for the company’s expansion into the region and beyond. By integrating Nvidia’s technology, Ooredoo aims to meet the growing demand for AI-driven solutions, which is expected to drive substantial growth in the telecom and data service markets.

Although the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the agreement was formalized on June 19 during the TM Forum in Copenhagen. This move by Nvidia and Ooredoo is particularly notable given the geopolitical context.

In line with this technological upgrade, Ooredoo is investing $1 billion to expand its regional data center capacity. The investment will add 20-25 additional megawatts to its current 40 megawatts, with plans to nearly triple capacity by the end of the decade. This expansion is crucial for accommodating the increased demand for data processing and storage as more businesses in the region adopt AI technologies.

Ooredoo’s strategy includes not only expanding its technological capabilities but also restructuring its corporate assets for greater efficiency and focus.

The company has separated its data centers into a standalone entity, following a similar move last year when it created the Middle East’s largest tower company in collaboration with Kuwait’s Zain and Dubai’s TASC Towers Holding. Additionally, Ooredoo plans to carve out its undersea cables and fiber network into separate entities, further streamlining its operations and potentially unlocking new revenue streams, according to Fakhroo.

Nvidia’s Remarkable Rise

Nvidia’s journey to becoming the world’s most valuable chipmaker is nothing short of extraordinary. Founded in 1993 by Jensen Huang, Chris Malachowsky, and Curtis Priem, Nvidia initially focused on graphics processing units (GPUs) for gaming. Over the years, the company expanded its horizons, capitalizing on the growing demand for high-performance computing and AI.

In recent years, Nvidia’s AI technology has revolutionized various industries, including healthcare, automotive, finance, and telecommunications. The company’s GPUs have become the backbone of AI research and development, powering everything from autonomous vehicles to advanced medical imaging systems.

In 2020, Nvidia’s market value surged, driven by the increasing adoption of AI and the company’s strategic acquisitions, such as Mellanox Technologies and Arm Holdings. By 2023, Nvidia had surpassed its competitors, including Intel and AMD, to become the world’s most valuable semiconductor company.

Earlier this month, Nvidia soared to become the most valuable public company in the world, about two weeks after beating Apple to become the world’s second most valuable company. The company shares surged by 3.6%, propelling its market capitalization to an unprecedented $3.34 trillion. This surge allowed Nvidia to surpass Microsoft, now valued at $3.32 trillion.

This meteoric rise has been attributed to its innovative technology, strategic partnerships, and relentless focus on AI.

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