Nvidia, Ooredoo Collaborate Amid Export Restrictions

data center operations, data centers, nvidia, ooredoo, middle east, export restrictions

Nvidia has agreed with Ooredoo to utilize its AI technology at the telecom group’s data center operations across five countries in the Middle East.

This move is considered Nvidia’s first major project in a region that faced limitations imposed by the U.S. regarding the export of advanced chips, aiming to prevent Chinese companies from accessing this type of cutting-edge technology via Middle Eastern countries.

Ooredoo Enters into the Competition

This collaboration makes the Qatari telecom company the first in the Middle East to offer its clients in Qatar, Algeria, Tunisia, Oman, Kuwait, and the Maldives direct access to the chipmaker’s AI and graphics technology. In this regard, Ooredoo highlighted in a statement that this partnership will significantly enhance its ability to assist customers in using generative AI applications.

Ronnie Vasishta, Nvidia’s senior vice president of telecom, stated that the importance of this agreement lies in allowing Ooredoo’s clients to access services 18 to 24 months ahead of their competitors.

In parallel, in an interview with Reuters, the CEO of Ooredoo, Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, stated, “Our B2B clients, thanks to this agreement, will have access to services that probably their competitors won’t for another 18 to 24 months.”

Regarding the financial terms related to the agreement signed between the two companies in Copenhagen on June 19 of this year, neither party disclosed any information. Additionally, there are no details about the type of technology that will be used in the data center operations, citing that the decision will be made based on availability and the clients’ requirements.

Bypassing U.S. Restrictions

This partnership comes at a time when the U.S. is allowing the export of some technologies to the Middle East region while restricting the most advanced chips. Meanwhile, Ooredoo is working hard on the expansion of its data center operations, planning to invest $1 billion with the aim of increasing its 40 megawatts by an extra 20-25 megawatts, aiming to nearly triple this capacity by the end of the decade.

In a bid to make its operations more efficient as well as to increase its market value, the Qatari telecom company has recently split its data center operations into a separate company. This follows a previous project where it joined forces with Kuwait’s Zain and Dubai’s TASC Towers Holding last year to establish the biggest tower company in the Middle East.

Final Thoughts

This partnership is a significant move for Nvidia to grow globally and remain the top chipmaker. However, it could also lead to some issues for Ooredoo in terms of its relationship with the U.S., as it appears to be sidestepping some restrictions.

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