Swisscom's new AI platform promises 'maximum Swissness'

Stunning alpine vistas, fancy watches, sturdy pocket knives, fondue, and banking with no questions asked – all this and more has seemingly been channelled into Swisscom's new AI offering.

Nick Wood

June 10, 2024

3 Min Read

The incumbent has unveiled its Swiss AI Platform, which aims to be a modular, one-stop shop for all things AI.

Powered by Nvidia hardware, it also guarantees data storage in Switzerland and all that entails with regard to neutrality, and is therefore well suited to use cases that involve handling sensitive data. Swisscom says its AI infrastructure and applications offer "maximum Swissness."

The modules for this modular platform are three-fold.

The first is GPU Rental, and as its name suggests, it offers access to Switzerland's first Nvidia SuperPOD supercomputer. Swisscom announced its partnership with Nvidia back in January, and the SuperPOD will offer customers the much-needed processing power for training, fine tuning and operating large language models (LLMs).

"By working with Nvidia, Swisscom has leading global industry experts on board with experience in implementing artificial intelligence in diverse industries, sectors and specific application scenarios and who are abreast of the rapid developments in AI," Swisscom said.

Next up is the GenAI Studio, which makes available a range of generative AI services via APIs, enabling customers to create their own AI solutions with the content they require, and in line with their specific requirements.

Finally there is the AI Work Hub, which seems to be a mash-up of the other two modules.

It is pitched at data scientists who want to analyse and process data in large volumes so they can develop and train LLMs. But it also has a curated library of open-source models that can be used to develop customer-specific AI applications. Swisscom plans to add to this library at a later date with proprietary models developed in partnership with third parties.

Swisscom said that, depending on their requirements, customers can use one or more of these modules in combination with the others.

"Understanding our customers' needs is our top priority. We can then support them in setting up their AI projects and customising them accordingly," said Urs Lehner, head of business customers at Swisscom. "Sensitive data is in good hands thanks to our powerful, trustworthy Swiss infrastructure. It is a Swiss solution for the Swiss economy."

The announcement is another win for high-flying Nvidia, which is beginning to look like the silicon provider of choice for all things GenAI.

Other recent wins include a deal to supply server racks for Japanese telco KDDI's AI data centre, which promises to be Asia's largest. A report by Nikkei in April claimed KDDI rival Softbank also plans to spend heavily on Nvidia hardware for its own AI push.

Back in Europe, Nvidia in February established an in-depth partnership with Telenor to develop AI solutions for the Nordics. And last autumn, France-based Iliad tapped up Nvidia for one of its SuperPOD supercomputers.

Nvidia's AI ambitions don't begin and end with providing scaffolding for others to work off. It also has its own chatbot – ChatRTX – which works with its RTX range of graphics processing units (GPUs) and leverages pre-existing LLMs, like OpenAI's GPT-4 and Google's Gemma.

With its valuation hovering around all-time-highs, it will be interesting to see how far up the AI value chain Nvidia can climb.

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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