Orange is using Google's on-premise Distributed Cloud (GDC) at its locations to enable artificial intelligence (AI) workloads.

Announced at Google Cloud's Next '24 developer conference, the company has selected Google's fully managed hardware and software solution that can be deployed at the Edge to meet local requirements for cloud environments and accelerate the telco's AI adoption.

Google Edge Appliance.png
Google's GDC hardware – Google

Google said GDC has been designed with AI and data-intensive workloads in mind.

The solution will be deployed at Orange's data centers across 26 countries, and will be used to provide the telco with an environment to run sensitive network data and AI workloads within countries that require it to be done on-premise or locally.

The telco will be using AI to improve network planning and demand by automating reporting, classification, and analysis - which can represent over one petabyte of data per day - to improve operations and customer service teams by providing answers faster, and will give customers personalized recommendations for their phones, and plans.

The company also intends to use generative AI for speech recognition in each country.

“We have a mission to accelerate value creation for Orange with every job, every network, and every customer experience super-powered by responsible AI. Orange sees enormous value in AI across every dimension of our business,” said Christel Heydemann, CEO of Orange. “This partnership with Google Cloud and the cutting-edge solutions announced today are foundational to Orange achieving AI at scale and is a major step towards unlocking significant value from all of our data.”

“Businesses are increasingly bringing gen AI solutions to the edge of the network to ensure better agility, responsiveness, and resilience,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “Our partnership with Orange addresses that need, combining data, reliable infrastructure, and leading AI technologies to create new solutions to meet Orange’s global needs”

The two companies have worked together since 2020, with Orange migrating more than 13 petabytes of data to Google Cloud in that time. Currently, 10 countries served by Orange are running on Google Cloud.

Earlier this year, Orange and Capgemini partnered up to launch a Microsoft-focused sovereign cloud dubbed Bleu. Bleu will offer Microsoft Azure and 365 cloud services, but Capgemini and Orange will control the data centers, which will be separate from the wider Azure infrastructure.

Last month, Orange completed a merger with MásMóvil in Spain, creating the country's biggest mobile operator.

Google made its GDC hardware generally available in April 2022. Other customers of the service include McDonald's and T-Mobile.

Vodafone has previously rolled out Oracle's on-premise cloud hardware - known as Dedicated Regions - at a number of data centers across Europe.