IBM opens the doors to telecoms innovation and AI: GSMA members are invited to sandbox ideas in watsonx – from concept to commercial reality 

The GSMA Foundry & IBM AI Challenge brings new benefits to GSMA Members and the wider mobile ecosystem 

Richard Cockle, Head of the GSMA Foundry 

Having recognised the need for democratised access to the best generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) tools, IBM and the GSMA recently announced an exciting collaboration to support the adoption and skills of Gen AI in the telecoms industry – creating opportunity and helping to bridge the AI adoption gap for the mobile ecosystem. 

One of the key initiatives under this partnership is the GSMA Foundry & IBM AI Challenge, designed to support the telecoms industry with AI support and privileged access to cutting-edge AI technologies. The challenge, which launched at MWC Barcelona 2024, focuses on the innovative use of Gen AI for telecom-specific use cases. The challenge is now open so please go and register your interest via the website. 

Approved participants will be granted extended free access to the IBM trial platform. This will enable them to explore and utilise the platform capabilities to develop and test AI use cases for their specific needs. Innovative, high-value projects will receive additional assistance and guidance from GSMA and IBM to further refine their solution and accelerate the development process. 

This unprecedented access to watsonx will help telecoms innovators to: 

  • Build and deploy AI models with minimal data and code, using foundation models and prompt engineering. 
  • Choose from a variety of models, including IBM-developed, open-source and third-party or proprietary models. 
  • Access and manage data sources, wherever they reside, with a fit-for-purpose data store built on an open data lakehouse architecture. 
  • Accelerate responsible AI workflows with end-to-end governance, transparency and explainability. 
  • Integrate and deploy AI workloads into the hybrid-cloud stack of choice, with flexibility and scalability. 

All GSMA members are invited to develop innovative GenAI solutions for telecom-specific use cases, focussed on three key areas: economics, leadership and technology. The objective is to stimulate innovative and inclusive GenAI solutions in telecoms, while bridging the AI adoption gap, ensuring that there are equal opportunities available to all GSMA members and their partner organisations. 

The challenge’s focus is on practical, scalable applications that enhance telecom operations, customer experience, network efficiency and setting new technology and service benchmarks. Post-challenge, we are looking to work with winning participants to support them with the commercial realisation of their ideas. 

Participants whose AI initiatives showcase exceptional innovation and impact also have the option to gain valuable exposure through the GSMA Foundry – the innovation arm of the GSMA. This may include showcasing at one of GSMA’s industry events, promotion through high-profile digital communications, inclusion in community discussions, or becoming the winner of a new GLOMO Award, recognising outstanding achievement in the field of AI within the mobile ecosystem.  

Finally, a reminder that our first “Generative AI for Telecom Leaders: Unlocking Business Value and Shaping the Future” course is taking place in London on April 15th. This executive training course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of Generative AI from a leadership perspective. Attendees will gain insights into the potential applications, opportunities and challenges associated with the integration of Generative AI into their organisations.