Nvidia’s latest telco buddy is Telenor

Picture source: Telenor

Picture source: Telenor

  • Nvidia has the telecom sector in its sights
  • It is building up its relationships across the sector, including with network operators
  • Telenor is the latest telco to form a direct relationship with the generative AI tech specialist

Nvidia is embedding itself deeper and deeper into the telecom sector, with Telenor the latest telco that has struck a direct deal with the company that’s at the heart of the generative AI (GenAI) revolution. 

Telenor is becoming a sovereign AI cloud partner of Nvidia and is investing 100m Norwegian kroner ($9.5m) in Nvidia technology in its initial year of collaboration to support its AI-first programme initiatives. These include the deployment of AI technology to “transform internal operational efficiencies and the communications network, and create new AI opportunities and partnerships with startups, enterprises, and government entities,” noted the operator in this announcement, adding that the investment “reflects Telenor’s ambition to lead in the AI space as a tech-driven telco.” 

The relationship will also enable Telenor to explore the potential of running 5G radio access network (RAN) workloads and AI workloads on the same underlying infrastructure, which is one of the focus areas of the AI-RAN Alliance, which was announced earlier this week and of which Nvidia is a founding member – see AI-RAN Alliance launches at #MWC24.

Telenor’s group chief technology officer, Amol Phadke, discussed the Nvidia relationship during an interview with TelecomTV conducted on the MWC24 show floor. 

He noted that Telenor will deploy Nvidia’s technology in its datacentres in Norway to do four things: to drive sovereign cloud opportunities together in the Norwegian market; to create a centre of excellence – a “factory” – and drive “innovative use cases for ourselves” in the network, IT and systems; to “externalise that innovation” by working with the research community in the Nordics and “empower research and academia”; and to promote how AI can help change society, first in Norway followed by other Nordic countries.  

Phadke discussed a broad range of topics during his interview, including Telenor’s technology vision and the development of next-generation digital support systems: You can watch the full interview here

Nvidia is also bullish about the relationship. “Generative AI is transforming the way telcos operate globally, enabling efficiencies while improving sustainability,” noted Chris Penrose, Nvidia’s global head of business development for the telecom sector in a prepared statement. “Our collaboration with Telenor will help power the next generation of software-defined, high-performance network solutions to bring sovereign AI to the Nordic region, as well as support the building of a green AI research centre that will foster ethical and responsible AI applications,” he added.

Nvidia, which also recently brokered relationships with Swisscom, Singtel and Nokia – and recently reported a stellar financial performance for its fiscal fourth quarter – has emerged in the past year as a critical partner to companies in the telecom sector and always looked like being one of the key companies at this year’s MWC – see Nvidia is the one to watch at MWC24.

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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