Google is taking over a chunk of Vodafone Group’s data operations to help the world’s second-biggest mobile service provider to identify cost savings using artificial intelligence, Bloomberg reported.
Vodafone said it will shift data processing and storage from its own premises to Google’s cloud and use Google’s real-time analysis tools to develop services for business clients and streamline the carrier’s operations in 24 countries.
“It will become the brains of our business as we transform ourselves into a digital tech company,” said Simon Harris, Vodafone’s head of big data delivery.
Vodafone Group reported organic service revenue growth of 0.3 percent in the first half of fiscal 2019-20. Vodafone forecasts adjusted core earnings of €14.8-€15.0 billion for the fiscal year, up from its previous forecast of €13.8-14.2 billion.
Google is competing with Amazon.com (AWS) and Microsoft Azure for dominance in data centers and cloud computing. Vodafone has launched an internal platform dubbed Neuron to aggregate and crunch data from its customers and networks.
Vodafone chief technology officer Johan Wibergh said Vodafone can’t do that without Google’s capabilities.
Many phone companies are closing their aging data centers and outsourcing the work to a new generation of huge server farms developed by U.S. tech giants. Telecom Italia has also partnered with Google to sell cloud and edge computing services to corporate clients. Britain’s BT Group is shifting from owning its data infrastructure to partnering with tech giants and selling complementary services such as system integration and cybersecurity.
The Google deal is much more cost-effective than trying to build the same technological tools in-house, said Johan Wibergh. Vodafone is not selling its own data centers as they are still being used for other things.