Will MNOs Embrace Nvidia’s Latest Venture?

**Nvidia’s Vision for Maximizing 5G Data Center ROI with GenAI**

**Building the Foundations: Introduction**
Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, recently unveiled a series of new platforms at Computex 2023 aimed at harnessing the power of generative AI (GenAI). One of these platforms, the Nvidia Accelerated Virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN), is positioned as a solution for maximizing the return on investment (ROI) for mobile network operators (MNOs) as they expand their 5G data centers. By utilizing their GH200 Grace Hopper Superchip, Nvidia aims to bridge the gap between high and low network utilization, allowing MNOs to increase their revenue-generating potential and offer new services. However, the success of this vision still depends on the adoption of this approach by MNOs.

**Increasing Utilization through vRAN and AI Factories**
Nvidia’s vRAN, which is 100% Arm-based, offers longer peak utilization and introduces the concept of AI Factories. With improved power efficiency in data centers and the creation of large language models (LLMs), MNOs can convert their 5G data centers to AI Factories during periods of low utilization. This enables them to either develop their own LLMs for applications such as 3D video conferencing and real-time language translation or offer their capacity as a service to other enterprises. By capitalizing on this capability, MNOs can enhance their 5G data center ROI, increase charges to enterprise customers, and maximize peak revenue-generating utilization.

**Challenges and Considerations**
While Nvidia’s strategy seems promising, MNOs must carefully evaluate the costs associated with becoming an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider. These costs include the establishment of management, sales, support, and business development structures, as well as backend operational processes and tools. Some MNOs already have a stronger enterprise customer base and are better positioned to adopt Nvidia’s solution. However, others may face longer adoption periods if they choose to pursue this approach. TIRIAS Research predicts that a handful of large MNOs will follow Softbank’s lead, serving as proofs of concept for others. However, the majority may adopt this approach during future network upgrades for 5G Advanced or 6G.

**The Road Ahead**
Nvidia’s vision holds the potential to address MNOs’ concerns of being reduced to low-value providers of data pipes. By offering an enabling solution to maximize 5G data center ROI, Nvidia hopes to empower MNOs and solve their enduring problems. As the first implementations of this approach unfold, it remains to be seen whether Nvidia’s vision will be fully realized. However, it is evident that at least one of Nvidia’s MNO customers has embraced the concept, paving the way for others in the industry.

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