A new joint venture will be created by five of the biggest names in the tech space, including e& Group. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE tech group e& is part of new AI joint venture that will be launched by an alliance of some of the biggest telecom service providers. The other entities of the Global Telco AI Alliance are SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Singtel and SoftBank Corp.

Through the joint venture Company, the five companies plan to develop Large Language Models (LLMs) 'specifically tailored to the needs of telecommunications companies'. The LLMs will be designed to help telcos improve customer interactions via digital assistants and chatbots.

The joint venture will be established within this year.

The first meeting of the Global Telco AI Alliance was held during the ongoing MWC Barcelona 2024.

Global reach for new AI JV
The joint venture of which e& Group plans to focus on deploying AI applications tailored to the needs of the Global AI Telco Alliance members in their respective markets.

This will enable them to reach a global customer base of around 1.3 billion across 50 countries.

Deutsche Telekom has about 250 million subscribers across 12 countries, including Germany and the US. The UAE-headquartered e& Group has 169 million subscribers in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

The Singtel Group has 770 million subscribers in 21 countries, including Australia, India, and Indonesia.

Multiple languages, including Arabic

The goal is to develop multilingual LLMs optimised for languages including Korean, English, German, Arabic and Japanese, with plans for additional languages to be agreed among the founding members.

Compared to general LLMs, telco-specific LLMs are more tuned to the telecommunications domain and 'better at understanding user intent'. "Telco-specific LLMs are expected to help accelerate AI transformation of various telco business and services, including customer service," the statement said.

The new LLMs are underway with customer service data used to 'fine-tune the model for telco-specific questions'.

This is mainly for tariff and contract models, information on special hardware such as the router, (which, for example, is rarely found in the general training data of the large models).

"But it's exactly this content that a telco bot needs to know," the statement said. "So that it is able to understand, summarise and respond to these specific concerns."

'Monumental step'

“This is a monumental step for e& and for the telco industry at large," said Dena Almansoori, Group Chief AI and Data Officer, e& Group.

"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.”