Members of the Global Telco AI Alliance (GTAA) are to establish a joint venture later this year specifically aimed at developing Large Language Models (LLMs).

The announcement was made earlier this week at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain.

In a joint statement, Deutsche Telekom, e& Group, Singtel, SoftBank Corp., and SK Telecom revealed the plans after holding the inaugural meeting at the trade show.

According to the quintet, multilingual LLMs will be optimized for languages including Korean, English, German, Arabic, and Japanese. Further languages will be added in the future.

LLMs are machine learning models that can understand and generate human language text, while analyzing massive data sets of language.

"We want our customers to experience the best possible service. AI helps us do that. Already today, more than 100,000 customer service dialogs a month in Germany are handled by Generative AI," said Claudia Nemat, member of the board of management for technology and innovation at Deutsche Telekom.

"By integrating telco-specific large language models, our 'Frag Magenta' chatbot becomes even more human-centric: AI personalizes conversations between customers and chatbots. And our joint venture brings Europe and Asia closer together."

Collectively, the five telcos serve more than 1.3 billion customers across 50 countries.

South Korean telco SK Telecom invested $100 million in buzzy generative AI startup Anthropic in July as part of its plans to develop optimized LLMs for telecom operators.

It will be a specific variant of Anthropic's wider 'Claude' model, support Korean, English, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish, and be overseen by Anthropic co-founder and chief science officer Jared Kaplan.