LIVE FROM DTW 2024, COPENHAGEN: Technology chiefs from three major operators expressed optimism the industry is at something of a turning point, highlighting the opportunities offered by AI, platforms and convergence.

In the opening keynote, technology executives from AT&T, Telstra and Vodafone Group all separately indicated they see signs that AI, in particular, could provide the industry with a major boost.

While acknowledging recent return on investment and growth as “not good enough”, Kim Krogh Andersen, group executive product and technology at Telstra (pictured, standing), said he felt the industry had reached an inflection point which could be considered a massive opportunity.

He explained “our core products have never been more important”, particularly in the era of AI, adding the technology should be deployed in layers spanning application; data; compute; and the network.

Andersen added it is “a bit ridiculous” for an operator to pursue the “telco to techno” strategy, arguing companies across all industries essentially need to be technology companies if they want to compete.

Vodafone CTO Scott Petty said there is a rejuvenation underway in the industry and “you can really start to see growth” across many telecoms organisations.

While this was good for overall businesses, he outlined the tough task ahead for technologists, who are now in the process of testing the transformative power of AI with every vendor, consultant and analyst.

Petty added generative AI offers operators an opportunity to become a true platform company.

“It will really change the way we operate as organisation. We need to get our platforms right.”

Delivering a slightly different message, AT&T CTO Jeremy Legg pushed a strategy of convergence, outlining the company’s goal of becoming a single connectivity provider for consumers “across broadband, wireless, satellite and Wi-Fi.”

“We ultimately think that a consumer is going to want to get their connectivity from one place rather than multiple places, given the simplicity that that would offer to those consumers and their ability to be connected wherever they are.”