At Mobile World Congress on Feb 25, Microsoft announced a new partnership with Telefónica – Spain’s biggest multinational telecommunications company – to apply blockchain and AI in designing enhanced services for telco customers.
Working together, the two will explore AI and other technology, such as blockchain, 5G, and edge computing to build “the network of the future”, said Microsoft in a press release (Feb 25).
They will create new AI-powered, in-home experiences for customers, and explore the use of intelligent technologies to transform the network. They will also collaborate to explore opportunities in using AI and machine learning to optimize networks, reduce costs, and drive industry transformation.
The latest partnership builds on Telefónica and Microsoft’s past collaborations around the use of data, and leverages Microsoft’s Azure platform. Both companies will expand the use of Azure Cognitive Services for customer engagement and business processes.
“Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Azure AI to create new, innovative experiences for millions of Telefónica customers around the world and shape the future of Telefónica’s network,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
José María Álvarez-Pallete, chairman and CEO of Telefónica, added: “Specifically, we are already using AI to enhance our customer relationships and are really excited to work with Microsoft to further harness the power of Azure AI. This agreement strengthens our relationship and our common belief that AI technology and the use of data should be based on solid ethical principles and empower people to control their digital lives.”
Telefónica has been announcing several projects using intelligent technologies recently. Earlier this month, The Crypto Sight reported that Telefónica had initiated the trial of a new blockchain platform for its innovation arm Movistar. Late last year in November, Telefónica also announced it was partnering IBM to apply blockchain in managing international call traffic for mobile phones.