Jio and TM Forum open first Innovation Hub in Mumbai

Via TM Forum Press & News

Dec 4, 2023

Mumbai, India – TM Forum, the leading global alliance of telco and tech companies and Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, today held the opening ceremony for the first TM Forum Innovation Hub, located in Mumbai, India. The Innovation Hub, the first of its kind for the industry, will focus its first efforts on accelerating the development of Generative AI (Gen AI) and Large Language Models (LLM) and Open Digital Architecture to benefit the whole industry.

Leaders from both organizations and representatives from the Innovation Hub Founding Members including Accenture, Deutsche Telekom, Google Cloud, Orange, Telenor and Vodafone attended the ceremony at the Reliance Corporate IT Park in Navi, Mumbai, where hybrid teams made up of talent from across the telecom and tech industry will collaborate to deliver breakthrough thinking and solutions for the industry’s most pressing challenges.

Mumbai was selected as the location for the first TM Forum Innovation Hub in recognition of India being the epicenter of global software development talent. Its opening builds on the TM Forum’s long-standing commitment to India – where more than 37,000 active Forum member professionals are based.

One of the hub’s first focus areas is the application of Generative AI and LLM to priority use cases for telcos, including developing an architecture blueprint to simplify responsible use of generative AI for brownfield telecoms technology landscapes, including the related challenges of security, privacy, accuracy, performance and scalability.

A second focus area will focus on accelerating the development and adoption of TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture. ODA underpins the creation of modular, componentized, and reusable cloud-native software to replace traditional BSS and OSS. Objectives include creating Reference Implementation(s) of the ODA Canvas and components, as well as migration patterns and innovative approaches to simplify migration from legacy software to ODA-compliant, cloud-native components.

Commenting on the opening of the Innovation Hub:

Mr Akash Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Jio Infocomm: “The TM Forum Innovation Hub is about delivering real-world solutions that will change our industry and there is no better way than to lean on talent from across the industry to solve our existing challenges as well as finding better ways to overcome future obstacles. We are delighted to see the first innovation hub open on our Mumbai campus as I believe Mumbai is the perfect location to foster the innovation needed. This is a really exciting time for Jio, TM Forum and the wider telecoms industry and we are honoured to be at the heart of this project.”

Dr. Steffen Roehn, TM Forum Chair and Partner at Bain & Company: “Rapid, open collaboration is today more important for our industry’s future than ever before. The TM Forum Innovation Hub will prove hugely beneficial as our members explore new technologies, more radical approaches to transform their organizations and strengthen their muscles. We’re delighted to be collaborating closely with Jio and all the founding members on this first Innovation Hub in Mumbai and look forward to seeing the first outcomes from the hub’s pilot projects.”

Nik Willetts, CEO, TM Forum: “I’m thrilled to see work begin at the first ever TM Forum Innovation Hub here in Navi Mumbai. Our vision is to bring together our industry’s best talent in a neutral, entrepreneurial environment to rapidly deliver breakthrough thinking and answers to the industry’s most pressing challenges. The first projects reflect two of the most important areas for rapid innovation: the responsible and effective use of generative AI, and accelerating the pathways to an Open Digital Architecture to drive growth. Our sincere thanks to all of our Innovation Hub founding members – and in particular Jio, who have given our first Hub a home.”

The Innovation Hub program was unveiled two months ago at the TM Forum’s annual DTW – Ignite conference in Copenhagen. Founding members Accenture, Deutsche Telekom, Google Cloud, Orange, Reliance Jio, Telenor and Vodafone are all contributing a range of expertise and resources to the hub, including experts, physical space, technology capabilities and professional services. The first Innovation Hub teams will be made up of staff from these organizations working both physically and virtually.

The outcomes of Innovation Hub projects will benefit the entire TM Forum membership, and the wider industry in several ways:

  • Providing a new way for the industry to collaborate at speed, solving intractable industry challenges with ‘real’ results that can be practically implemented – including working code or concepts proven at scale in operational or shadow-operational environments
  • Testing and iterating TM Forum standards, providing valuable implementation experience to core standards development teams
  • Accelerating the development of code assets (for example, Open Digital Architecture components and Open APIs) to be contributed towards TM Forum collaboration projects
  • Industrializing concepts explored in the Catalyst program, sharing the learnings with the broader industry

The pilot phase of the Innovation Hub program is expected to conclude in March 2024, with a third pilot project starting shortly. TM Forum Members will be invited to apply to join an existing Innovation Hub project or propose a new one in 2024. To be considered to join a project Member companies will need to bring the distinct expertise the project requires, as well as meet the minimum dedicated resource commitment. To keep updated on the work of the Innovation Hub program and its first cohort of companies, visit https://www.tmforum.org/tmf-innovation-hub/.

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