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Singtel, other global telco firms forge joint venture partnership for enhanced AI customer interactions

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Azunta Gaviola

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3 months ago

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Barcelona, Spain – In a concerted effort to enhance customer interactions through digital assistants and chatbots, telecommunications companies SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, e& Group, Singtel, and SoftBank Corp. have recently embarked on a strategic partnership that will begin within this year. 

In this collaborative effort, the companies plan to establish a multilingual, large-language model aimed at catering to the needs of telecommunications firms. 

Particularly, the said models will be optimised for languages such as Korean, English, German, Arabic, and Japanese, with plans to expand to other languages like Bahasa for future deployment in Southeast Asia.

It also focuses on the implementation of artificial intelligence applications customised for the specific requirements of the Global AI Telco Alliance members in their respective markets. This move aims to empower them to access a global customer base of around 1.3 billion people across 50 countries. 

Furthermore, this initiative intends to focus on telco-specific large language models that are more finely tuned to the telecommunications industry, enhancing their ability to grasp user intent compared to general LLMs. 

This efficiency in deploying high-quality generative AI models is expected to accelerate the AI transformation of various telecom businesses and services, specifically customer service.

The targeted training also ensures that the large language model understands the distinctive language and requirements of telecommunications operators, leading to improved, personalised, and efficient customer experiences.

Talking about this venture, Ryu Young-sang, CEO at SKT, said, “We as telcos need to develop tailored LLM for the telco industry to make telco operations more efficient, which is a low-hanging fruit. Our ultimate goal is to discover new business models by redefining relationships with customers. The Global Telco AI Alliance brings synergy to its members by allowing them to achieve more by working as a team.”

Claudia Nemat, a board member at Deutsche Telekom for technology and innovation, also shared, “We want our customers to experience the best possible service. AI helps us do that. Already today, more than 100,000 customer service dialogues a month in Germany are handled by Generative AI. By integrating telco-specific large language models, our ‘Frag Magenta’ chatbot becomes even more human-centric: AI personalises conversations between customers and chatbots. And our joint venture brings Europe and Asia closer together.”

Also commenting on the partnership, Dena Almansoori, group chief AI and data officer at e& Group, said, “This is a monumental step for e& and for the Telco industry at large. From streamlining customer support interactions to enabling personalised recommendations, this multi-lingual LLM will revolutionise how businesses engage with customers.”

“In collaboration with our Global AI Telco Alliance partners, we look forward to shaping both the present and future of customer engagement and setting new standards for efficiency and innovation across the telecommunications landscape to better serve our customers and create meaningful impact,” added Dena.

Meanwhile, Yuen Kuan Moon, group chief executive officer at Singtel, stated, “This promises to be a game changer not just for us at Singtel but for any telecom company out there looking to lift their customer experience beyond limited automated responses and generic chatbot interactions. This multi-lingual LLM tailored for telcos will greatly expand chatbot capabilities with relevant responses to customers’ technical queries, freeing up service agents to deal with more complex customer issues, and we intend to deploy this across the Singtel Group.” 

“With leading telcos from three different continents working on this innovative model, this unprecedented effort to scale AI development for the telecom industry would not have been possible had we all decided to go it alone,” Yuen further explained.

Hideyuki Tsukuda, executive vice president and CTO at SoftBank Corp., remarked, “Through a powerful alliance with industry leaders, we embark on a mission to revolutionise global communication, elevate service quality, and ignite a new era of technological innovation powered by AI.” 

“Together, we have the power to shape the future of telecommunications, empowering communities worldwide with seamless connectivity and boundless opportunities,” concluded Hideyuki.

This joint venture was initiated with an inaugural meeting attended by representatives from the aforementioned telecommunications companies.

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Video Title Here: The Indonesian on-ground activation status

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Video Title Here: The Indonesian on-ground activation status

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