JAKARTA - Telenor, a Norwegian telecommunications company, has recruited Amol Phadke from Google Cloud as the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to strengthen artificial intelligence (AI) activity at the company. This was announced by Telenor on Tuesday, August 22.
Pradke recently led Google Cloud's telecommunications business and has previously worked for British Telecom, Alcatel-Lucent, and the Accenture network service unit.
"He understands the challenges faced by legacy businesses like ours, and it is important for Telenor to remain at the forefront of technological changes," Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke told Reuters in an interview.
Telenor teamed up with Google Cloud in 2021 to digitize its global operations and explore ways to jointly offer services to customers, as part of an ongoing digital transformation plan.
AI can be used to collect data used to train predictive models that automate core functions within the company or for their customers.
Brekke said that Telenor needs to prioritize rapid innovation and form partnerships to transform traditional telecommunications companies, even though the company started using AI 10 years ago and implemented it to make networks more efficient in energy use.
He said he wanted Telenor to "use AI in all of our operations to make operations more efficient, develop new products, and increase energy efficiency."
Phadke said that Telenor will use AI to make business operations more efficient, for example to predict traffic demand and allocate more bandwidth to regions with more users, as well as to increase interaction with customers.
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"Telenor will not cut the work as a result of AI implementation," he said.
"We do not believe that AI will immediately result in job reduction," said Phadke. He added that he envisions using AI to strengthen and improve, not replace, humans in the process.
"I think overall as an industry, adoption is slow but that's because the nature of the industry is very competitive, most things take time because this is a big legacy," said Phadke.
The company also announced it had appointed Petter-Boerre Furberg as head of Asian units.
Furberg, who previously occupied senior Telenor management positions in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand, replaced Joergen C. Arentz Rostrup in the role, while Rostrup will replace Furberg as head of Telenor Nordics.
Last year, Telenor completed a merger of 15 billion US dollars (Rp226 trillion) to form a telecommunications leader in Malaysia, and finalized a deal worth 8.6 billion US dollars (Rp129.9 trillion) in Thailand in March this year.
"After completing the two largest mergers of telecommunication operators in Southeast Asia and establishing and implementing a strong and future-powered organization in the region, (Rostrup) will return to Nordic", Brekke said in a statement.
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