Axiata Digital Labs Honoured with Two TM Forum Catalyst Awards

TM Forum’s Catalyst Awards recognize the world’s leading companies for their outstanding proof-of-concept solutions to challenges facing communications service providers and their technology partners

Axiata Digital Labs (ADL) today announced that it was selected as a winner in two categories at the TM Forum Catalyst Awards 2021 for two separate Catalyst Projects.

TM Forum announced the Catalyst Award winners during the final day of the Digital Transformation World Series (DTWS) global event. Honouring the innovation and impact of its members on the industry, TM Forum declared nine Catalyst proof-of-concept projects as Outstanding Catalysts for their significant contributions to the acceleration of digital transformation throughout the industry.

Axiata Digital Labs, one of Asia’s fastest-growing and most innovative digital transformation enablers, participated in two winning catalyst projects, “Cross-industry marketplace for CSP collaboration, Phase 3” and “Measurements of Trust in AI”. Axiata Digital Labs was recognized in the 2021 Catalyst Team Award in the Visionary Impact and Sustainability Leadership categories respectively.

The Visionary Impact category recognizes the Catalyst that demonstrates the most compelling business potential. ADL’s winning project, Cross-industry marketplace for CSP collaboration, Phase 3, explores a new collaborative approach for vendors, CSPs and other parties to work together to quickly roll out a 5G Open RAN network and develop an enterprise use case. The project builds on the marketplace framework for application sharing to enable new 5G deployment and development models. Axiata Digital Labs was recognized with a Catalyst Award for Phase 1 of the project at Digital Transformation Asia in 2019. This project was conducted in participation with CSG, GETREVE, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and championed by Axiata Group Berhad, Dialog Axiata, Robi Axiata, and Smart Axiata.

The Sustainability Leadership award recognizes the team whose project demonstrates the greatest potential to make the world a better place, based on the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). ADL’s winning project built a system of trust within the AI environment that adheres to the ethics and governance policies of the organization. This ensures that any AI system is safe, technically robust, transparent, accountable, non-discriminative and able to mitigate bias. This project was championed by Dialog Axiata and Ncell Axiata and included BolgiaTen, Brytlyt, and Subex. 

Steffen Roehn, Chairman of TM Forum and [StR] Partner of Bain & Company comments:  

“Throughout the past 18 months, the tech communications industry has mastered the challenge to keep the world connected. This meant to overcome a multitude of obstacles to ensure success for customers. We were extremely impressed by the incredible standard of the demonstrations and true innovation throughout the Catalyst projects this year as we reviewed the creativity of the teams in developing solutions to evolve our industry. I was privileged and proud to be a part of the process and I extend my congratulations to all the winners.”   

Thushera Kawdawatta, CEO of Axiata Digital Labs commented: “To be competitive in this digital era, the telecommunications industry’s future relies on collaboration and exchanging ideas in an increasingly interconnected world. We are delighted that the TM Forum recognized the significance and enormous potential of these two Catalyst projects. Over the past three years, our teams have worked tirelessly to demonstrate the potential windfall CSPs can gain via a collaborative marketplace, and we’re pleased to see the real-world impact of our efforts. I would like to thank the champions of these projects for all their support in helping us achieve this victory.”

Namal Jayathilake, Vice President of Engineering and Emerging Technology at Axiata Digital Labs commented: “ADL’s Catalyst Projects showcase the real-world impacts that can be achieved through collaboration across industries and robust AI systems. On behalf of ADL, I want to show my appreciation to the wider team of both participants and champions who collaboratively implemented this from concept to actual solution. We are proud to have worked with such an outstanding team. This recognition from TM Forum is only the beginning. We hope to build on this success and continue to innovate to bring greater solutions to the industry.”

A panel of 20 independent judges awarded across the 9 Catalysts from 22 shortlisted projects. In total this year, over 500 people across 151 companies, formed 41 Catalyst teams and have been working on their proof-of-concept solutions to challenges facing communications service providers (CSPs) and their technology partners. The culmination of their work has been showcased during the Digital Transformation World Series 2021 event.  

The Catalyst Awards celebrate the most revolutionary successes in advancing the telecoms industry, proof-of-concepts for industry standards, impact on global sustainability goals and noteworthy contributions to the acceleration of digital transformation throughout the industry. Two, more mature Catalysts, were awarded for their demonstrations of real-world implementations of their solutions and proven industry impact.  

John Gillam, Chief Digital Officer, TM Forum commented: “Through the power of collaboration, we can connect, inspire, and ignite change for good to tackle some of the biggest barriers in telecoms. The TM Forum Catalyst Awards are a chance for us to honor the innovative and creative minds within our industry. This year, through the 41 Catalyst teams, we have seen evidence of the way in which we can unite to drive transformation within society, business, and the wider world. I’m delighted to congratulate this year’s Outstanding Catalysts, and the proof-of-concept solutions they have developed together.”  

As a neutral, non-profit organization, the Catalyst awards ensure a prestigious and impartial view, celebrating success and delivering valuable peer recognition. Fairness is key and the new judging process used both empirical and subjective data to make sure the awards showcase the top teams for one of the most coveted and renowned distinctions in the industry.  


About Digital Transformation World Series (DTWS)

DTWS ran from September 22 October 14, 2021. The four-week event showcased over 50 hours of live streamed content and 130+ speakers, connecting leading Communication Services Providers, software suppliers, systems integrators, and consulting companies to explore how industry collaboration can inspire change and help solve some of the industry’s greatest challenges.  

About TM Forum

TM Forum is an association of over 850 member companies, which include 10 of the world’s top 10 network and communications providers and stretch across 180 countries. Our members tap into each other’s collective experiences and abilities to collaboratively solve complex industry-wide challenges, deploy new services and create technology breakthroughs to accelerate change.

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About Axiata Digital Labs

Founded in 2019, Axiata Digital Labs is an innovative software service provider offering telco focused digital and IT services and solutions that enable individuals, enterprises, and society. With over 1000 professionals spread across three countries, ADL helps global customers in the space of telecommunications, digital services & financial services.

For more information, visit


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