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GSMA, IBM unite to accelerate AI skills in telecoms

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 31 Jan 2024
The GSMA and IBM collaborate to accelerate AI adoption and skills for the telecoms sector.
The GSMA and IBM collaborate to accelerate AI adoption and skills for the telecoms sector.

The GSM Association (GSMA) has joined forces with IBM, to support generative artificial intelligence (AI) development and skills in the telecoms industry.

This, as studies show more telcos are either exploring using generative AI, or accelerating the rollout of AI. Research from GSMA Intelligence indicates 56% of surveyed operators are actively testing generative AI solutions – a rate much higher than any other priority technology.

In a statement, the industry body says its collaboration with IBM sees the launch of GSMA Advance’s AI training programme and the GSMA Foundry generative AI challenge and programme.

The AI training initiative – the first in a new series of courses by training organisation GSMA Advance – seeks to prepare telco leaders for the AI era and bridge skills gaps within the industry.

The aim is to equip leaders with skills and knowledge to leverage generative AI technologies utilising IBM’s watsonx AI and data platform, according to a statement.

The training programme, says the GSMA, will delve into topics such as fundamental AI principles, to specialised generative AI applications in telecoms. Training sessions will take place at IBM offices in five locations around the world in 2024: Dubai, London, Mexico, New York and Seoul.

A digital version of the programme will be available in multiple languages, addressing the business strategy and technology fundamentals of generative AI.

“AI provides the telecoms industry, and the societies it serves, with huge opportunities to launch new services, improve connectivity and customer experience. Overall, it’s estimated that AI could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030,” says Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer of the GSMA.

“However, it’s critical that AI is democratised to ensure it benefits all parts of the connectivity industry and their customers, wherever they are in the world. Bringing operators access to AI tools and knowledge, alongside the necessary skills, access and training is key to achieving this.”

The GSMA Foundry generative AI programme is intended to help telecoms industry players explore industry-specific use cases, enabling members to improve cost leadership, revenue growth and enhance customer experience.

GSMA Foundry and IBM will also drive a series of generative AI industry programmes and challenges to investigate the use of generative AI in various areas within telecoms providers. 

“IBM will provide support for this training for the telecoms industry through this collaboration with the GSMA,” says Stephen Rose, GM of global industries at IBM.

“Generative AI can create massive opportunities for communication service providers, as they look to optimise current processes.”

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