Verena Fulde


SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom develop LLM for telcos

  • Joint development of a Large Language Model (LLM) specifically for telecommunications companies 
  • Generative AI serves as a digital assistant in customer service 
  • First result of the "Global Telco AI Alliance"
Jon Abrahamson, Claudia Nemat, Tim Höttges (all Telekom) James Ryu, SG Chung (both SKT).

Jon Abrahamson, Claudia Nemat, Tim Höttges (all Telekom) James Ryu, SG Chung (both SKT). © SK Telecom

SK Telecom (SKT) and Deutsche Telekom will jointly develop an industry-specific language model (LLM). This is specially tailored to the requirements of digital assistants in customer service. It makes it easier for telecommunications companies to deploy generative AI models efficiently and quickly. 

This marks the start of the "Global Telco AI Alliance" of Deutsche Telekom, e&, Singtel and SK Telecom, which was announced in the summer. 

“AI shows impressive potential to significantly enhance human problem-solving capabilities. To maximize its use especially in customer service, we need to adapt existing large language models and train them with our unique data. This will elevate our generative AI tools," says Claudia Nemat, Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom.

SKT and Deutsche Telekom plan to collaborate with AI companies such as Anthropic (Claude 2) and Meta (LLaMa2) to co-develop a multilingual – i.e, German, English, Korean, etc. - large language model (LLM) tailored to the needs of telcos. They plan to unveil the first version of the telco-specific LLM in the first quarter of 2024.  

“Through our partnership with Deutsche Telekom, we have secured a strong opportunity and momentum to gain global AI leadership and drive new growth,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “By combining the strengths and capabilities of the two companies in AI technology, platform and infrastructure, we expect to empower enterprises in many different industries to deliver new and higher value to their customers.” 

The two telecommunications companies have now signed a corresponding agreement (LOI) in Seoul for the joint development. 

Benefits of Telco-Specific LLMs

A telco-specific LLM provides a better understanding of customer inquiries about telecom services than general models. This makes it optimally tailored for use in customer service. 
A digital assistant based on such an LLM is particularly good at understanding, summarizing and answering these specific concerns.

The aim is to support telecommunications companies, e.g. in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, in setting up their own digital assistants based on generative AI. The new model is designed to enable them to develop a digital assistant that fits their environment faster and more flexibly.

Ask Magenta offers excellent customer service

One of the interfaces that will be the first to benefit from this development is Telekom Deutschland's Ask Magenta service bot. Since 2016, this has served customers as a digital assistant and as a central gateway for service requests. He can help with over 380 different concerns – from moving, new offers, questions about bills or appliances and also in the event of malfunctions. Here, for example, it automatically measures the lines and, if necessary, restarts them. 

Since autumn 2023, "Ask Magenta Voice" has been available on the mobile phone hotline. Customers are no longer asked to present their concerns in several levels in keywords, but can speak it freely in natural language, as was already the case in the chat. 

Last year, Ask Magenta conducted over four million customer dialogues. This frees up our employees time to deal with more complex issues. 

The chatbot solves more than a third of the concerns immediately. In other cases, and also at the customer's request, human advisors take over and continue the dialogue almost seamlessly. 

According to the annual analysis by COMPUTER BILD and Statista, "Ask Magenta" is once again one of the best digital assistants in the telecommunications industry in 2023. For the fourth time in a row!

About Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom at a glance

About SK Telecom: SK Telecom has been at the forefront of the growth of the mobile industry since 1984. Now, the group is taking the customer experience to a new level by going beyond connectivity. By placing  AI at the core of its business, SK Telecom is rapidly transforming into an AI company. The company is focused on  driving innovation in telecommunications, media, AI, metaverse, cloud, and connected intelligence to    create greater value  for  both individuals and businesses. For more information, please contact or visit our LinkedIn page