SK Telecom joins TM Forum to drive forward AI innovation with Open Digital Architecture

Founding member of the Global Telco AI Alliance formalizes Forum membership following years of collaboration

London – TM Forum, the leading global alliance of telco and tech companies, today welcomes SK Telecom Co., Ltd., as its newest member. SK Telecom will collaborate with the Forum to accelerate the industry’s move towards becoming AI-native, including extending the widely adopted Open Digital Architecture (ODA) to be AI-ready. At the same time, TM Forum will provide SK Telecom with the tools, standards, and best practice it needs to realize its ambition of transitioning from a telecoms operator to a global AI company.

SK Telecom’s TM Forum membership is a natural progression following close collaboration with the Forum and its global members on AI. At TM Forum’s flagship DTW23 – Ignite event, SK Telecom showcased its strategy to become an AI company, covering the entire value chain from infrastructure to AI services. In addition, SK Telecom founded the Global Telco AI Alliance, created in partnership with e& and fellow TM Forum members Deutsche Telekom and Singtel to accelerate AI transformation for telcos. In October 2023, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom announced the first initiative from the Alliance to create a telco-specific large language model (LLM) for digital assistants across customer service, networks, and more.

SK Telecom’s membership will see the service provider benefit from the Forum’s global collaboration platform, leveraging and building collective knowledge and industry alignment to address the challenges encountered through working with generative AI, including optimizing AI models for telco use cases.

SK Telecom will use ODA to create an AI-driven value stream to accelerate the delivery of next-gen connectivity for the company. TM Forum’s ODA provides the blueprint for a truly composable architecture for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and is built on industry-agreed, modular, reusable software components and Open APIs. As the transition to platform-ready telcos providing network and/or connectivity as a service takes place, ODA helps CSPs transform business agility, significantly reducing costs and increasing service velocity.

Chung Suk-geun, Chief AI Global Officer, SK Telecom, said, “Now more than ever, we need to centralize and focus our efforts on AI, creating more value at less cost for our customers. The TM Forum is the leading global member-led association on transformation and AI, and they are uniquely positioned to help us on this journey. TM Forum membership, alongside our work with the Global Telco AI Alliance, will allow us to develop a reliable telecommunications infrastructure, ensuring ease of use as a model-as-a-service, and establishing global business cases.”

Nik Willetts, CEO, TM Forum, said, “AI has the potential to truly transform our industry: from dramatic efficiency boosts driving profitability, to new business models and services generating new revenue streams. As we move from the Digital Telco to the AI-Native Telco era, we’re delighted to welcome SK Telecom to support our mission to accelerate AI adoption, collaborating with our worldwide membership, members of the Global Telco AI Alliance, and the wider AI community.”

Nik Willetts and Chung Suk-geun sat down recently in Seoul to discuss AI, DTW – Ignite, industry collaboration and SK Telecom’s pyramid strategy for becoming a global AI company – you can watch the interview here.

TM Forum’s flagship Global Industry Summit – DTW24 – Ignite – will return to Copenhagen in June, where Chung Suk-geun of SK Telecom will discuss the Global Telco AI Alliance alongside Deutsche Telekom, e&, and Singtel. Registration for DTW24 – Ignite is open now.

For the full list of the newest TM Forum members, please see here.

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