Telecoms spanning from digital transformation to Generative AI and sustainability

TM Forum, the global industry association dedicated to service providers and their suppliers in the telecommunications sector, orchestrates DTW23 as a premier global marketplace. Drawing exhibitors from diverse sectors within the telco and cloud industries, this marketplace serves as a central nexus for networking, idea exchange, and the unveiling of cutting-edge technologies and solutions. Always attuned to market dynamics, operator requirements, and the latest initiatives from software vendors, R Systems experts participated in the DTW 2023 Ignite conference held in Copenhagen. This year’s event was notably enriched by the unveiling of over 50 catalyst innovation projects, which epitomize genuine collaboration, as telcos worldwide join forces with software, equipment, system integration, and hyperscaler partners to address some of the telecommunications industry’s most significant challenges.

What ‘ignites’ telecom progress and innovation?

The telecommunications sector confronts a myriad of challenges, including heightened competition, market saturation, and stagnant revenues for service providers. As underscored by Nik Willetts, CEO of TM Forum, in his introductory address, the industry has expended over a trillion dollars in the last five years, yielding less than a one percent return—a clearly unsustainable trajectory. The imperative for a new path is evident.

In this dynamic landscape, the emphasis is on the evolution of network services and operations with a focus on software, outlining the urgent need for CSPs to simplify, modernize and automate their networks to remain viable. The imperative for seamless collaboration between telcos and vendors is increasingly paramount, exemplified by TM Forum’s initiatives—Open API and ODA—demonstrating significant strides toward this collaborative goal.

Autonomous Networks (AN) and overarching autonomous operations are progressing towards maturity, with the early majority of CSPs acknowledging them as the future direction. The ubiquity of Generative AI, including GenAI and beyond, holds the potential to substantially boost productivity and enhance customer satisfaction within the telecom industry as it becomes integrated into network operations.

A vision of the future, driven by autonomous networks

The concept of autonomous network operations, where a communication network requires minimal human intervention to perform daily operations, is not novel. However, recent advancements in software technology make it an achievable reality. Industry stakeholders actively participate in defining, conducting proofs of concept, catalyst groups, and implementing Autonomous Networks (AN). Over 30 major global CSPs and vendors have pledged support for TM Forum’s Autonomous Networks Manifesto, aiming to automate the entire service lifecycle—from ordering, to activation, orchestration, management, assurance, optimization to billing. The ambitious objective is to enable CSPs to orchestrate Zero-X services, characterized by zero-touch, zero-wait, and zero-trouble, across domains at scale.

The transformative power of ‘AI at scale’

The transformative power of ‘AI at scale’ permeates every facet of technical discourse, including discussions at DTW sessions. Operators are strategically placing AI at the core of sales, customer experience, network operations, and process improvement. Use cases range from creating the “ultimate assistant” for customer-facing employees to generating network slices and empowering field technicians with comprehensive data for enhanced efficiency.

AI has transitioned from the periphery to the core of telecom discussions, and its transformative potential is no longer a futuristic vision; it is a vibrant and tangible reality within the sector.

‘Digital transformation’ has evolved beyond a mere departure from the past—it is now deeply ingrained in all activities of CSPs and vendors. The emerging buzzword, Generative AI, is poised to revolutionize the industry by integrating predictive analytics, automation, and data-driven decision-making. Telecommunication companies are increasingly adopting AI to boost revenues, enhance customer experiences, and extract valuable insights from their extensive datasets.

About DTW 2023

DTW23 – Ignite event by numbers:

  • More than 3,700 industry professionals
  • Over 300 speakers, including C-suite representation from the world’s biggest CSPs and vendors
  • 119 exhibitors spanning global CSPs, vendors, hyperscalers and consultants

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