Singtel, partners set up JV for bespoke chatbots

The Global Telco AI Alliance (GTAA), comprising of SK Telecom (SKT), Deutsche Telekom, e& Group, Singtel and SoftBank Corp. announced their plans to establish a joint venture following their inaugural meeting last February 2026 at MWC Barcelona 2024. 

Through the planned JV company, which will be established within this year, the five partners plan to develop large language models (LLMs) specifically tailored to the needs of telecommunications companies (telcos). 

The LLMs will be designed to help telcos improve their customer interactions via digital assistants and chatbots. 

The goal is to develop a multilingual LLMs optimised for languages including Korean, English, German, Arabic and Japanese, and with plans to for other languages like Bahasa Indonesia so that it can be deployed in Southeast Asia. 

The JV plans to focus on deploying innovative AI applications tailored to the needs of the Global AI Telco Alliance members in their respective markets, enabling them to reach a global customer base of approximately 1.3 billion across 50 countries. 

Deutsche Telekom has about 250 million subscribers across 12 countries, including Germany and the United States. 

The e& Group has 169 million subscribers in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, while the Singtel Group has 770 million subscribers in 21 countries, including Australia, India, and Indonesia. 

Compared to general LLMs, telco-specific LLMs are more attuned to the telecommunications domain and better at understanding user intent. 

By making it easier for telcos to deploy high-quality generative AI models swiftly and efficiently, telco-specific LLMs are expected to help accelerate AI transformation of various telco business and services, including customer service.

SKT CEO Ryu Young-sang said in a statement telcos need to develop tailored LLM for the telco industry to make telco operations more efficient, which is a low-hanging fruit. 

Ryu said the ultimate goal is to discover new business models by redefining relationships with customers.

Claudia Nemat, board member of Deutsche Telekom, said generative AI already handles more than 100,000 customer service dialogs a month in Germany. 

“By integrating telco-specific large language models, our ‘Frag Magenta’ chatbot becomes even more human-centric — AI personalises conversations between customers and chatbots,” said Nemat. “And our joint venture brings Europe and Asia closer together.”

Dena Almansoori, chief AI and data officer at e& group, said the multi-lingual LLM will revolutionise how businesses engage with customers, from streamlining customer support interactions to enabling personalised recommendations.

“This promises to be a game changer not just for us at Singtel but for any telecom company out there looking to lift their customer experience beyond limited automated responses and generic chatbot interactions,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, group CEO at Singtel. 

“This multi-lingual LLM tailored for telcos will greatly expand chatbot capabilities with relevant responses to customers’ technical queries, freeing up service agents to deal with more complex customer issues and we intend to deploy this across the Singtel Group,” said Yuen.