Global Telco AI Alliance founders establish LLM joint venture

In a move designed to improve customer interactions through artificial intelligence (AI) innovations across a global customer base of around 1.3 billion in 50 countries, the founding parties of the Global Telco AI Alliance (GTAA) have signed a joint venture agreement with the objective of codeveloping and launching a multilingual telco large language model (Telco LLM).

The agreement comes after the five founding companies – SK Telecom (SKT), Deutsche Telekom (DT), e&, Singtel and SoftBank – met at TM Forum’s DTW24 – Ignite summit to focus on the transformative potential of AI in the telecoms industry. This follows a similar announcement by the GTAA at MWC Barcelona 2024.

The launch of the joint venture will, subject to customary regulatory approvals, see equal investments from the founding parties to support its initial working capital requirements to develop the Telco LLM, which is intended to help telcos improve their customer interactions through digital assistance and other “innovative” AI solutions. The joint venture will look at deploying such AI applications tailored to the needs of the founding parties in their respective markets, enabling them to reach a global customer base of approximately 1.3 billion across 50 countries.

The Telco LLM will be multilingual, with languages including Korean, English, German, Arabic and Bahasa. The GTAA believes the move marks a dedication to driving innovation and collaboration in the telecoms industry.

DTW24 highlighted the key progress achieved by the GTAA, as well as the AI governance systems and AI use cases reshaping the telecoms landscape.

SKT CEO Young Sang Ryu emphasised the transformative potential of AI in the telecoms industry. Ryu insisted the Global Telco AI Alliance was well positioned to be an active player in the global AI ecosystem as businesses worldwide are keen to reshape their business strategies through AI. He added that, through the Telco LLM joint venture, new business opportunities will be created and enhanced levels of customer experiences will be achieved.

Yet while heading towards this goal, Ryu stressed that the alliance needs to proactively address the social and environmental responsibilities associated with AI by establishing an effective AI governance framework.

In addition to sharing updates on the GTAA’s progress and outlining plans aimed at using AI in the future to address industry challenges and unlock new opportunities, the founding companies also shared their perspective on AI governance and individual efforts to ensure responsible AI practices. They also showcased potential applications of an LLM for telcos, focusing on contact centre and infrastructure use cases, demonstrating how a fine-tuned LLM can enhance contact centre operations by generating real-time reference answers for agents during calls and automatically handling post-call tasks. They also illustrated the model’s ability to provide answers to infrastructure operators’ questions, streamlining their workflows.

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