Work by TM Forum members during 2023 illustrates the telecom industry's commitment to using AI, data and ODA to drive greater automation, enable new ecosystems, and ensure revenue growth.
TM Forum members innovate with AI and ODA in 2023
TM Forum members have a long history of coming together to drive change in the telecoms industry, with their work pointing to key future trends.
This year, our members’ initiatives have demonstrated telcos’ determination to harness the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to drive sustainable change in their operating and business models.
Members' efforts culminated in the opening of a new TM Forum Innovation Hub in India in November, hosted by Jio and founded by Accenture, Deutsche Telekom, Google Cloud, Orange, Reliance Jio, Telenor and Vodafone. The hub’s initial projects include the creation of an architecture blueprint to help integrate generative AI (GenAI) technology into the telco landscape. They will also collaborate on accelerating the development and adoption of TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture (ODA), which enables the creation of modular, reusable cloud-native software components.
The hub will complement TM Forum members’ ongoing progress in both ODA and AI. When it comes to ODA, 2023 closed with nine CSPs, which together serve a total of one billion subscribers, running on ODA. In addition, the three leading hyperscalers – AWS, Google and Microsoft – have all launched ODA Canvases and eight vendors have achieved "ready for ODA" status. We are looking forward to further progress on ODA in 2024: this year 1,000 professionals from 236 organizations worldwide contributed to ODA development.
GenAI may have grabbed the world's headlines this year, but it is only one aspect of members’ extensive work on AI. Predictive AI remains a cornerstone of CSP developments, as work across several of our 55 Catalyst projects illustrates.
In total 1,100 individuals from 178 companies took part in our Catalyst programs. Their proofs of concept touch all aspects of telcos’ operations and business models, from growing revenues, harnessing new technologies and driving sustainability.
Catalysts also reveal TM Forum members’ commitment to autonomous networks (AN). In addition, several of TM Forum’s telco members are aiming for level 4 AN by 2025, with a total of 40 members having signed our Autonomous Networks Manifesto.
Open APIs continue to underpin the industry’s efforts to implement standardized systems and processes, with 2,700 organizations making more than 760,000 Open API downloads during 2023. Members also drove an important innovation, with the launch at DTW23–Ignite of Gen5 Open APIs.
A key feature of Gen5 Open APIs is their support of event-driven architectures (EDA), which makes it much faster to deploy services. With EDA, CSPs can decouple components so that they can automatically communicate when processing high volumes of complex requests in real time without needing point-to-point integration.
A notable aspect of TM Forum’s collaboration is its diversity. Our active members include the world’s largest communications service providers and equipment and software suppliers, and hyperscalers, as well as companies such as Airbus. And their efforts to create new ecosystems and connectivity-based revenue streams is attracting more members: In total, 74 new companies have joined TM Forum since April.
Our members also get together to share their insights. Our flagship event DTW23–Ignite this year attracted more than 300 speakers and 3,700 attendees; our Global Architecture Forum attracted more than 3,500 attendees; and our TM Forum Webinars attracted more than 3,200 attendees. We also published around 30 reports and e-books on subjects ranging from AI to automation and operator revenue growth.