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Generative AI future: 5 emerging trends from Mobile World Congress 2024

Camille Juguet
Apr 8, 2024

Given the speed at which GenAI is evolving, predicting its future can be a risky game. And yet, after attending Mobile World Congress 2024 (MWC24), there’s no question that this technology will play a critical role in the future of the Telco industry and the world at large.

In this article, our team presents some of the most notable GenAI takeaways, trends, and innovations showcased in Barcelona and how we believe they will impact the Telco landscape and beyond.

1. AI-powered devices are here and likely to completely change the way we interact

At MWC24, attendees got to try firsthand a few of the AI-enabled devices launched over the last few months, like the Humane AI pin, the Samsung Galaxy AI phone and the Deutsche Telekom AI phone.

The Samsung Galaxy-AI phone combines on-device and cloud-based AI, allowing users to utilize new features including the ability to translate messages in 13 different languages with chat assistance, live translation, and interpreter features to support everyday conversations and transcription.

Deutsche Telekom’s AI phone presented a vision of an “app free future” for mobile devices where all interactions (and transactions!) will be processed by an AI assistant. Built through partnerships with Qualcomm and Brain.ai, users of this device can execute tasks such as booking flights, ordering gifts, or editing photos through voice command—eliminating the need to literally lift a finger. This bold move from DT confirms their intention to grow in the handset provider space and, at the same time, attempt to become consumers’ singular interface. The question remains whether brands (and app developers) will be happy to be disintermediated and how new brand engagement models will emerge in conjunction with these AI assistants.

2. When LLMs meet robotics… sci-fi becomes a reality!

Several new generation robots displayed at MWC24 showcased how combining LLMs, a diverse array of sensors, and other advanced technologies, like facial recognition software, can enable the creation of robots with human-like abilities.

For example, British company Engineered Arts, in partnership with Etisalat, showcased Ameca— “the world’s most advanced humanoid robot”. Powered by GPT-4, Ameca’s ability to crack jokes, draw, gesture, share emotions and interact with visitors captured attendees’ full attention at the congress!

Robots like Ameca are just the beginning—watch this innovation space in the coming months to see how quickly sci-fi becomes part of our reality.

3. The launch of multiple Telco-specific LLMs will accelerate and strengthen GenAI industry use cases

Business Support Systems/Operational Support Systems (BSS/OSS) vendors have started to integrate GenAI in their software solutions.

For example, Netcracker’s GenAI Telco Solution aims to enable valuable use cases by securely connecting GenAI with telco BSS/OSS data and other proprietary Telco data. Amdocs also developed a telco native GenAI platform named amAlz, which provides a foundation for GenAI-powered applications with enterprise-grade security. It takes advantage of existing LLMs, as well as pre-existing Telco use case kits, where Telcos can choose the capabilities, integrations, training and governance needed.

In addition, five operators officially launched the Global Telco AI Alliance (GTAA) during MWC24, with the goal of developing LLMs specifically for Telcos. These models will be trained on Telco domain knowledge and aim to improve performance, reduce costs and reduce time-to-market of GenAI use cases. The Telco LLM will first focus on developing assistants for customer service, leveraging the massive amount of customer dialogs handled by Telcos every day.

During his keynote, the CEO of Deutsche Telekom stated the importance of building a Telco-LLM to not rely only on hyperscalers’ solutions. This is based on the belief that Telcos possess unparalleled insights into their business and can leverage proprietary data to tailor the model to each company’s specific needs.

4. Enabling new products and services for enterprises with GenAI

Numerous companies introduced tailored products and services aimed at businesses. This included AI platforms, assistants, and software intended for versatile applications across different use cases, all of which will enhance operational efficiency for enterprises.

SK Telecom has, for example, showcased V.Stella, a GenAI assistant that transforms customer interactions. Developed by Integrit and powered by Qualcomm technology, digital humans like V.Stella can be deployed to support any number of B2B companies, including airlines or banks.

As an increasing number of these services are anticipated to emerge in the near future, Telcos must determine their role within this evolving vendor ecosystem. Some leading CSPs like DT encourage Telcos to take a facilitator role, as they are already serving millions of B2B customers “desperately looking for solutions to adopt AI in their organization”.

5. Telcos have an opportunity to play a major role in building an AI future

The rapid pace of AI adoption has increased demand in computing and data processing. In an interview with theCUBE, Dell CEO Michael Dell said, “Think about how long it took us to get five billion people on the internet. To get five billion people on AI is happening almost instantly.” To expedite this transformation, he highlighted the importance of bringing AI to the data instead of vice versa. Telco operators have a unique role to play in this equation, particularly on the edge.

Finally, many partnerships were announced at MWC24, underscoring the importance of collaboration to drive innovation. Telenor announced their partnership with Nvidia, with the ambition to become a sovereign cloud partner and enable AI across the Nordic region as well as within local markets. Telenor plans to invest about €9M in Nvidia’s infrastructure within the first year to drive internal AI adoption, as well as that of their enterprise customers from the private and public sectors. Telenor also communicated its ambition to build a green AI center for the Nordics, providing AI infrastructure for enterprises while reducing the carbon footprint of this new energy-intensive technology. In that sense, Telcos might have an opportunity to move from providing pure connectivity to creating new revenue streams, though doing so will require significant investments.

So…what’s the consensus? AI is here to stay and it will become more and more embedded in our everyday life. In fact, MWC24 may have given us a mere glimpse into the future, as it becomes more and more clear that our everyday interactions with devices, machines and one another will likely be buffered by an AI agent.

Though most Telcos are reaping the early benefits of this technology through enhanced efficiency gains, far fewer are exploring the opportunity of GenAI to create new revenue streams and new business models.

Finally, as the GenAI ecosystem rapidly evolves, various stakeholders in the value chain are both competing and collaborating. Telcos certainly have a role to play in the GenAI revolution. The question is whether they will seize it and shape it… or let the tech players capture all the value once again.

TelcoInsights is a series of posts about the latest trends and opportunities in the telecommunications industry – powered by a community of global industry experts and thought leaders.

Meet the author

Camille Juguet

Director, Capgemini Invent
Camille is a Director in Capgemini Invent, based in Oslo, Norway, and the Global GenAI Lead for Telecoms. She has worked with european telcos on large transformation programs, from digital transformations to Post Merger Integrations. She is passionate about helping her clients grow their business, by reinventing the way their customers experience their brand, products & services.