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Google Cloud joins TM Forum, aims to foster telco innovation

The tech giant will help transition CSPs towards cloud nativity, and spread the benefits of AI and ML in the sector

A phone, bearing the Google Cloud logo and the words 'Google Cloud', is held in front of a wall bearing a larger version of the same logo

TM Forum, the telecoms alliance, has welcomed Google Cloud as its newest member.

Google Cloud is expected to speak at the upcoming TM Forum event Digital Transformation World, at which it will outline the steps it is already taking to assist communication service providers (CSPs). Cloud nativity is understood to be a key focus for Google, as well as the benefits of hyperscale partnerships.

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The move comes as CSPs work to integrate cloud-native automation into their networks, and reap the benefits of decision-making and optimisation provided by technologies such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Working with telcos, Google Cloud will use its experience in data processing and big data analytics to provide CSPs with suggestions for sections of their systems and networks that can be made more efficient. It will also provide tailored demonstrations of the network improvements possible through AI, and work towards the development of application programming interfaces (APIs) that CSPs can implement.

A global association of over 850 companies, TM Forum works to foster innovation across technological barriers to improving the sectors of digital service, technological supply, consultancy and systems integration.

Google Cloud is looking to strengthen its existing partnerships within the sector, as well as demonstrate its benefits to a new market of CSPs, possibly to expand its market share versus rivals such as Microsoft Azure, which is signing major telco deals of its own.

In January Google signed a deal with Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telecommunications company, to invest up to $1 billion to boost the company’s digital transformation and develop an India-based network domain for 5G, based in the cloud. The same month, Google Cloud announced a partnership with Nokia, to develop cloud-native 5G solutions for CSPs.

“Google Cloud is hyper-focused on helping telecommunications companies not only transform, but also accelerate their growth, competitiveness, and digital journeys,” stated Amol Phadke, managing director & GM of global telecom industry, Google Cloud.

“As a reflection of the trust and value we have built with our global telecommunication customers and partners — from our work with BT Group, Telenor Group, and more — we are thrilled to join the community at TM Forum.”

Telcos are increasingly looking to technologies such as AI to improve the stability of their networks and improve the speed and security available to customers. Following a major outage in July, which affected over 10 million customers, Canadian telco Rogers Communication vowed to invest C$10 billion over the next three years on developments including AI to improve network coverage.

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