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AI Transformations in Global Telecom

AI Transformations in Global Telecom: Thailand’s Role in Shaping a Responsible Future

Sam Abbott

The Mobile World Congress 2024 held recently in Barcelona spotlighted AI's integral role in reshaping the telecom industry. Unlike previous years, the event centered around Artificial Intelligence (AI), diverging from the familiar territory of 5G to explore the intersections of telecom with innovative tech. As AI evolves, so does its role within telecommunications, heralding a new era of challenges and opportunities.

Responsible AI

Ethical Practices and AI Governance Gaining Traction

Responsible AI practices have become a significant focus as the technology becomes more embedded in pivotal sectors. During the congress, Microsoft unveiled new AI governance principles, highlighting the importance of ethical decision-making in technology expansion. This initiative was part of a broader reveal including a partnership with Mistral, marking Microsoft's continued commitment to making AI tools accessible to developers, fostering innovation while ensuring compliance with ethical standards.

In Thailand, True Corporation has taken pioneering steps by introducing an ethical AI charter, a groundbreaking move among Thai enterprises. This charter is overseen by a newly formed AI governance committee responsible for evaluating crucial AI initiatives to ensure that they respect customer data privacy. True Corporation’s proactive approach in spearheading dialogs and partnerships across public and private sectors aims to establish ethical AI utilization as a norm within Thailand.

The Dual Role of AI in Climate Initiatives

Climate change and environmental sustainability also dominated discussions at Mobile World Congress 2024. The GSMA's Net Zero Report revealed that despite a significant surge in internet traffic from 2019 to 2022, carbon emissions from mobile network operators had reduced by 6%. This presents a narrative of progress, yet the increasing demand for AI's computing power poses potential environmental challenges.

Conversely, True Corporation detailed an AI initiative that promises a 15% reduction in energy consumption within their network operations. This innovative application of AI not only aligns with Thailand's ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 but also exemplifies how technology can be wielded to foster significant environmental benefits.

AI-First Versus AI-Ready: Setting the Stage for Robust Adoption

Navigating the Path to AI Integration

The momentum around AI is tempered by the reality of organizational preparedness. Telenor’s interactive session highlighted the critical prerequisites necessary for AI adoption. Entities need to ensure they have robust digital infrastructure, a data-driven culture at the executive level, and effective strategies for digital talent acquisition, retention, and empowerment.

True Corporation is addressing these needs head-on by committing to train 2,400 digital citizens and fully automate all repetitive, rule-based tasks by 2027. This commitment is geared towards fostering a workforce capable of navigating and thriving in an AI-driven ecosystem.

Empowering Thai Enterprises through Education and Innovation

To support local businesses in their transition to AI, True Corporation has established extensive resources through the True Digital Academy. This initiative offers a suite of AI-ready solutions including open APIs, comprehensive analytics platforms, and specialized digital business courses designed to equip businesses with the tools needed for a successful digital transformation.

The Evolution of Telecom Infrastructure

From Connectivity to Advanced Computational Capabilities

The infrastructure session at Mobile World Congress 2024 reflected a shift in focus from traditional telecom equipment to advanced data processing facilities necessary for AI applications. Insights from a meeting between the Thai Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and Huawei, along with announcements of investments from Google and Microsoft, underscore Thailand’s efforts in enhancing its tech infrastructure.

However, despite these advancements, Thailand faces stiff competition, notably from Malaysia, which is projected to attract significantly higher investments in data centers over the next few years. Addressing these challenges includes not only bolstering investments but also ensuring that the growth in data centers aligns with sustainable practices, particularly in energy utilization.

True Corporation’s Response to Infrastructure Demands

In response to these infrastructural needs, True Corporation has launched the Business and Network Intelligence Center (BNIC), which leverages AI to boost the reliability of its network across 5G, 4G, and home internet services. Catering to over 50 million customers, the BNIC is pivotal in enhancing service quality while also contributing to energy efficiency goals, thus addressing both customer demands and environmental responsibilities.

Conclusion: Shaping a Sustainable Future with AI

The Mobile World Congress 2024 illuminated AI’s transformative potential in the telecom sector and beyond. It showcased how companies like True Corporation are leading efforts in Thailand to harness AI for enhancing economic competitiveness, digital skill sets, and environmental sustainability. As Thai entities continue to engage with AI responsibly and innovatively, they are poised to play a crucial role in defining a future where technology and telecom not only coexist but collaboratively thrive, setting new benchmarks in the global tech landscape.

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