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How the Digitisation of Industry and the Emergence of 5G Networks are Driving the Need for AI-powered Telecom Solutions

Just when you thought you'd heard enough about AI....

The digitisation of society and the increasing rollout of 5G technologies are driving massive transformation across consumer and business environments today. As the world continues to embrace technological advancements the need for efficient and intelligent telecom solutions that provide tailored B2C and B2B services and support, has become more pressing. AI-powered solutions are rapidly emerging as the enablers for telecom service providers to
meet this need. They will undoubtedly shape the future of the telecom industry.

Digitisation is the 21st century mega trend
Society has moved from the Industrial Age to the Information Age, to the Connected Age. This is about more than simply creating a faster link to the cloud though. It’s about combining intelligence and connectivity. Connected intelligence defines the next big step of the journey. It will bridge the digital divide and generally simplify
and improve life with new developments in everything from smarter agriculture to better transport and healthcare, to more efficient manufacturing.

AI has already become a significant investment for most enterprises with 42 percent having a dedicated budget of $1 million or more, according to a new reportby market analyst Omdia. It identifies a number of trends including AI budgets starting to cannibalise spend that would previously go on other IT and operations. Enterprises of all kinds are striving to improve cost and energy efficiencies through increased automation.

Emergence of 5G networks is a trigger for AI-powered telco solutions
Market research by Allied Research Group shows that spend on AI in telecoms is forecast to grow from $1.2 billion in 2021 to $38.8 billion by 2031. The report - AI in Telecommunication Market….Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, lays out some interesting facts for business leaders looking to invest in AI, machine learning (ML), natural process learning (NLP) and data analytics.

It also notes that incompatibilities between telco OSS and BSS systems and AI technologies could hamper the growth of the global market in the immediate term. However, the emergence of 5G technology is projected to present more robust global AI market growth over the next few years.

The increased speeds, lower latency andnetwork capacity provided by 5G will enable the rapid transmission and processing of vast amounts of data, which in turn facilitate more sophisticated AI algorithms that empower machines to learn, adapt, and make decisions autonomously.

Benefits for communication service providers
The convergence of digitisation and 5G dramatically increases data traffic and a surge in connected devices. To manage this data explosion and optimise network performance, AI-powered telecom solutions will
become indispensable. These technologies will help telcos address the various challenges faced by the industry, including network management, customer experience enhancement, and the introduction of new services, by analysing data from various sources such as network sensors, logs, and user behaviour. All while reducing the need for human intervention in network configuration and maintenance.

Telcos have been under a significant financial pressure over the past decade as traditional growth drivers became eroded and economic value increasingly shifted to big tech companies. By using AI telcos can protect their core business from further erosion while improving margins.

AI can help telcos analyse customer behaviourpatterns, predict their preferences, and tailor services accordingly. By implementing AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants, service providers can offer 24/7 support, resolve customer queries promptly, and improve overall customer satisfaction. Hyper-personalised tariff plan and device recommendations could leverage granular behavioural data like the number of and engagements with apps installed devices. And audience segmentation tools can guide customers to channels that offer an engaging experience, while driving the most profitable sales outcomes for the telco.

However, to answer privacy fears likely to be raised by consumers and regulators telcos must also invest in building digital trust, including actively managing data privacy, and having a robust cybersecurity strategy and a framework to guide ethical deployment of AI.

AI can also inform highly targeted network investment decisions for telcos based on a granular understanding of the customer-level network experience The AI providestactical recommendations of what and where to build based on where customers use the network, and automatically compute thresholds after which new
investments will have only marginal impact on experience and commercial outcomes for the telco.

Final cut

As the telco industry looks to leverage the power of AI, the potential to transform the industry is huge, but developing core AI capabilities requires a carefully calibrated approach that observes best practices for significant organisational change. As the world continues to embrace digitisation and intelligent connectivity, adopting AI-driven technologies will enable telcos to not only overcome their current challenges, but it will also prepare them for major cultural transformation as an industry.