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Deutsche Telekom dangles bags of cash in exchange for telco AI concepts

German telco Deutsche Telekom and its US arm T-Mobile US will give out cash prizes to anyone with any bright ideas about how AI can improve telecoms.

Andrew Wooden

November 2, 2023

2 Min Read
Artificial Intelligence Concept. Microprocessor with the letters AI.
Artificial Intelligence Concept. Microprocessor with the letters AI.

German telco Deutsche Telekom and its US arm T-Mobile US will give out cash prizes to anyone with any bright ideas about how AI can improve telecoms.

It’s the fourth edition of the operator’s T Challenge, which this time is looking to attract solutions on how AI might improve the management of networks and customer experience.

The international competition ‘offers participants a platform to present their innovative ideas’, and as well as the prize money the winners will be able to team up with techies at Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US to work on them.

The first prize will receive €150,000 the second €75,000 euros and the third €35,000 euros. Additional prizes for the ‘most sustainable’, ‘most ethical and #most interesting’ presentations will also be awarded €25,000. Presumably DT gets some or all of the ownership of any actual product that is generated from the process in return.

“Every year, the T Challenge sends a signal for innovative strength,” said Claudia Nemat, Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “Now we want to use artificial intelligence in an innovative way. How, for example, does AI help us to better control our network? How can it improve the customer experience? That’s what we’ll explore in the next T-Challenge. Together with T-Mobile US. It is important to act responsibly. We’re curious to see how creative and talented people are taking AI to the next level.”

John Saw, EVP and Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile added: “AI has the potential to usher in a whole new era of innovation and efficiencies not only for our network but for businesses and consumers as well. T Challenge is an excellent opportunity to support developers in actualizing their technologies and be at the forefront of the AI wave.”

Submissions are open until January 26 next year, and an award ceremony and exhibition of the winning submissions will take place on June 10 and 11 at Telekom Bonn headquarters.

We’ve seen similar competitions launched by vendors, operators, and government departments in the past to try a scoop up some winning concepts around Open RAN and 5G, though it’s a bit hard to track whether any of them end up coming to anything.

Presumably the sort of thing this particular competition is on the look out for is along similar lines to the proof of concept Nokia Bell Labs announced yesterday called Natural-Language Networks. The firm describes it as an ‘industry-first research breakthrough’ that will allow networks to be operated via speech or text prompts.

 

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About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins Telecoms.com on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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