GSMA and IBM Forge Strategic Alliance to Propel AI Adoption in Telecom Industry

GSMA and IBM have joined forces to drive the adoption of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the telecommunications sector.
IBM Watsonx AI platform for telecomsThis initiative comes to life through the launch of the GSMA Advance’s AI Training program and the GSMA Foundry Generative AI program.

The AI Training program from GSMA Advance is designed to equip telecom leaders with the skills and knowledge required to navigate the AI era. The curriculum spans a spectrum of topics, from fundamental AI principles to specialized applications of Generative AI in the telecom domain.

Leveraging IBM’s AI and data platform, watsonx, participants will gain hands-on experience with AI assistants, enhancing their ability to effectively leverage Gen AI technologies.

Tailored for telecoms leaders, GSMA Advance AI Training sessions will be conducted at IBM offices across five global locations in 2024: Dubai, London, Mexico, New York, and Seoul. An online training program will also be made available in multiple languages to ensure broad accessibility.

The digital version of the program will address both business strategy and technology fundamentals of Generative AI. Leveraging IBM watsonx, it will provide architects and developers with practical, in-depth knowledge of Gen AI through hands-on training.

Complementing this, the GSMA Foundry Generative AI program will grant GSMA members access to IBM’s watsonx, empowering them to explore industry-specific use cases of Generative AI. This collaboration aims to enhance cost leadership, drive revenue growth, and elevate customer experience for telecom industry players.

As part of their ongoing partnership, GSMA Foundry and IBM will initiate Gen AI industry programs and challenges, investigating the application of Generative AI across various functional areas within telecom providers.

The collaboration between GSMA and IBM addresses the existing gap in AI skills, training, and tools, aligning with GSMA’s commitment to supporting operators of all sizes globally.

According to IBM’s latest AI Adoption Index, 40 percent of telecoms are exploring or experimenting with Generative AI, with 45 percent accelerating its rollout.

GSMA Intelligence research indicates that while 56 percent of operators are actively trialing Generative AI solutions, mid-sized and smaller operators exhibit lower adoption rates.

Through these programs, GSMA and IBM aim to democratize AI within the telecom industry, ensuring that operators, including those in underserved communities, can leverage AI technology to provide innovative and inclusive solutions, connecting more people to digital connectivity.

Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer at GSMA, emphasized the vast potential of AI for the telecom industry and society at large. “AI provides the telecoms industry, and the societies it serves, with huge opportunities to launch new services, improve connectivity, and customer experience,” he said.

Stephen Rose, GM, Global Industries, IBM, highlighted IBM’s commitment to supporting the telecom industry through Generative AI training, stating, “Generative AI can create massive opportunities for communication service providers, and our goal is to offer this technology within the industry, which we’re making possible through watsonx.”