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So that’s a wrap for another edition of Digital Transformation World, the flagship annual event of the TM Forum, bringing together over 3,700 attendees from 114 countries (20% up from last year). This year’s event, ‘DTW23 – Ignite’, was back in Copenhagen once again after Denmark’s capital city also hosted DTW 2022, TM Forum’s first in-person event after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, much of the focus of DTW23 has been on the rise of generative AI and what this means for the telco ecosystem. During the event’s opening session, C-Suite representatives from Verizon and Vodafone both agreed that generative AI has the potential to positively disrupt the telco landscape, but urged caution in terms of the need for proper governance.

Another of the industry’s major players, BT Group, were particularly forthright about the opportunities presented by AI. During a keynote session, Harmeen Mehta, chief digital and innovation officer at BT Group, told attendees about BT’s commitment to unlocking £1bn+ in value from AI.

Elsewhere during the event, organisers, the TM Forum announced the launch of its pilot Innovation Hub program, which has been established with the aim of helping bring together talent from across the global tech sector to help address some of the most pressing challenges facing telcos. The first pilot hub was revealed to be based in Mumbai, India, made up of teams from Accenture, Deutsche Telekom, Google Cloud, Orange, Reliance Jio, Telenor and Vodafone.

Further news to come out of DTW23 included the announcement that a further five major network operators are now running their IT systems on TM Forum’s open digital architecture (ODA). CityFibre, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telia and Telstra all passed the assessments required to achieve ‘Running on ODA’ status.

Meanwhile, one of Liberty’s clients, Qvantel, introduced its Qvantel Flex Billing service at the event, as well as showcasing how telcos can leverage Generative AI in customer service with the company’s Customer Care Co-pilot solution.

The main thread of conversation throughout the event certainly appeared to be that generative AI is here and there are opportunities abundant. But what does this actually mean in practice beyond the buzzwords? And what can telcos do to ensure they do finally truly digitalise? That seems to be the not insignificant final piece of the puzzle that still needs to be cracked.

James Meredith

James is a Director at Liberty Communications

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