New Telefónica and Microsoft project to transform telecommunications

New Telefónica and Microsoft project to transform telecommunications
Partnership will combine global reach with the Azure AI platform for telco services of the future

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Spanish firm Telefónica has partnered with Microsoft to transform the telecommunications (telco) industry. The agreement will combine Telefónica’s networks, customer proposition and global reach with the Microsoft Azure artificial intelligence (AI) platform to design telco services of the future. 

Telefónica’s Aura solution uses Azure Cognitive Services and is embedded in mobile apps, the company’s pay-tv service and its call centers in Brazil.With this new agreement, Microsoft and Telefónica will work to explore the extension of Aura and Azure Cognitive Services to all customer relationship channels, such as its contact centers in other countries and social media and web services.

“Telefónica has been a leader in using AI to transform customer engagement, and the strategic partnership we announced builds on this history of innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “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.”

The companies also plan to develop Telefónica’s home as a computer (HaaC) vision to use Azure Cognitive Services and Azure AI services with other Telefónica services. To further this vision, Telefónica and Microsoft also plan on creating Aura Living Apps built on Azure that will allow customers to interact with their devices to do daily activities.

The partnership will also involve developing AI, blockchain, 5G and edge computing to build the network of the future.

“Telefónica is applying cutting-edge technology to its ongoing transformation, pioneering virtualisation and softwarisation to develop smart, liquid networks ready to be powered by AI,” said José María Álvarez-Pallete, chairman and CEO of Telefónica. “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.”

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