Singtel Partnerships Promote AI and Sustainable Data Centers Across Singapore and Beyond
January 31, 2024 by Joe Panettieri
Singtel has launched Nxera -- a data center strategy that involves various AI (artificial intelligence), renewable energy, sustainable technologies and talent development initiatives. Key technology partners include Nvidia, Super Micro and Red Dot Analytics, just to name a few.
Singtel is a telecom, communications and IT services provider. The company, based in Singapore, reaches over 740 million mobile customers in 21 countries, according to Singtel's LinkedIn page. Also, the Singtel infrastructure and technology services for businesses span 21 countries, with more than 428 direct points of presence in 362 cities, the LinkedIn page notes.
Singtel's Data Center Partnerships: Nvidia for AI Chips and More
Singtel's Nxera data center strategy focuses on such markets as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Four key partner initiatives, according to Singtel, include:
1. Collaborate with Nvidiato speed AI adoption across Singapore and the surrounding region. Specifically, Singtel’s Digital InfraCo unit and NVIDIA will collaborate on opportunities to "support Singapore's updated National AI Strategy 2.0 to drive innovation and create new value."
2. Tap the renewable energy expertise of Gulf Energy, Medco Power, Sembcorp and TNB Renewables to accelerate Nxera’s journey towards net-zero emissions. Singtel will strive to achieve operational net-zero emissions by 2028.
3. Establish a co-innovation platform with technology partners to improve power and water efficiency and operational resiliency. Here, Singel will work with Deston, QCT, SGP Global, Shell, Stulz Asia Hub and Supermicro to develop and test liquid and immersion cooling and also water-saving technologies, the companies said.
Moreover, Nxera and Red Dot Analytics will partner to deploy smart IoT and digital twin applications. The effort will llow Nxera to monitor, manage and optimize its data centre operations to "achieve better overall energy efficiency and operational resiliency," the companies said.
4. Create a Regional Sustainable Data Centre Academy with five institutes of higher learning. The unified goal: Train more than 150 students annually for its data center business, ecosystem partners and the industry. Here, the partners include:
Singtel's Data Center Strategy, Nvidia AI Partnership: Executive Perspectives
In a prepared statement about the strategy, Bill Chang, CEO of Nxera and Singtel's Digital InfraCo unit said: “The launch of the Nxera data centre brand is a key milestone for our data centre business as we look to expand our footprint in the region beyond 200MW over the next three years. As we build out our data centre business, we are putting in place a purpose-driven, fully aligned group of ecosystem partners with distinctive capabilities and unique platforms that will help us grow this digital infrastructure in an AI world – sustainably and responsibly. This means democratising AI access for enterprises, introducing renewable energy and sustainable technologies, and helping produce the talent for our new generation of data centres.”
Addressing the sustainability focus, Chang stated: "Digitalisation shouldn’t come at the expense of our decarbonisation efforts. In fact, it should accelerate our efforts. Given our aim to achieve operational net-zero emissions for our data centre business by 2028, these partnerships are critical to laying the groundwork for turning digitalisation into a driver for decarbonisation. Of course, we are also doing our utmost to support the Singapore government’s recently announced National AI Strategy 2.0 and green ICT agenda.”
In a prepared statement, Nvidia Senior VP of Telecom Ronnie Vasishta added: "Our collaboration with Singtel will combine technologies and expertise to facilitate the development of robust AI infrastructure in Singapore and throughout the region. In addition to supporting the Singapore government’s AI strategy, this will empower enterprises, regional customers and startups with advanced AI capabilities.”
AI and Data Center Energy Consumption: Research Findings
Singtel's data center and AI partnership strategy arrive at a key time.
As AI application deployments accelerate, most businesses may not be prepared for AI's energy consumption costs, multiple technology research reports suggest.
Additional findings from the Pure Storage and Wakefield report include:
The Need for Computing Power is Surging For 88% of those who have adopted AI, the need for computing power is up dramatically. Nearly half (47%) have had to double their computing power or more since adopting AI.
Energy Consumption is Just One Burden: For 73%, AI requires or will require data management upgrades of some kind. Among specific upgrades: data management tools (48%), data management processes (46%), and data storage infrastructure (46%).
As a Result, Nearly All (96%) Have Already or Plan to Update Their IT Infrastructure: 29% of IT Buyers say AI has or will require a complete overhaul.
These Challenges Have Set Back Businesses’ Sustainability Goals: 89% have found ESG goals more difficult to meet as a result of upgrades to their IT infrastructure after AI adoption. However, 60% of those who have already adopted AI technologies (or plan to in the next 12 months) stated they invested in or will invest in more energy- efficient hardware to meet ESG goals.
Singapore: Green IT Services, Renewable Energy and Climate Disclosure Trends
Singapore, with a compound need to achieve carbon neutrality and energy security, may become Asia's renewable energy hub, Nikkei reported in November 2023.
Meanwhile, Singapore companies have some ways to go when it comes to climate-related disclosures, as mandatory reporting rules are set to kick in, Bloomberg reported in November 2023.
That’s lower than the global average of 58%, based on the latest TCFD data, the Bloomberg report stated.
Amid those challenges, The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in November 2023 launched Gprnt, an integrated digital platform that "harnesses technology to simplify how the financial sector and real economy collect, access and act upon environmental, social and governance (ESG) data to support their sustainability initiatives."