Artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G can create a powerful synergy that enables new use cases and business models that are changing the telecom landscape. Simply AI can help telcos in many ways, like optimizing their network performance by analyzing data on usage patterns, network traffic, and other factors, allowing them to allocate resources more efficiently and enhance customer experience.
73% of telcos players see AI as a tool to boost revenue, enhance operations and sustainability, or boost customer experience.
A survey, “state of AI in telecommunications,” by Nvidia, shows various aspects of the use of AI in the telecommunication industry.
95% of telcos said they were engaged with AI, but only 34% of respondents said they have been using AI for more than six months, while 23% said they’re still discovering the different AI options. 18% said they are in a trial or pilot phase of an AI project.
Approximately 73% of respondents said that the implementation of AI had raised revenue in the last year, with 17% noting revenue increases of more than 10% in specific parts of the business.
Also, 80% of respondents said that their implementation of AI led to lowered annual costs in the last year, with 15% noting that this cost decrease is above 10% — again, in specific parts of their business.
However, 93% of those responding to questions about launching AI projects at their own companies appear to be substantially underinvesting in AI as a percentage of annual capital spending.
50% of respondents said spending less than $1 million last year on AI schemes. Furthermore, just 3% of respondents spent over $50 million on AI in 2022.
34% cited an inadequate number of data scientists as the second-biggest challenge.
33% of respondents also cited a lack of budget for AI projects.
The survey results suggest that AI supporters need to work harder with decision makers to develop a persuasive case for AI adoption.
Telcos are aware of the AI benefit but need more confidence
AI has many benefits, but some telecom leaders may indeed need more confidence about it due to various reasons, such as concerns about the cost of implementation, the complexity of integrating AI systems into existing network infrastructure, and the concern about the ROI of AI projects.
However, many telecom players are already exploring AI in areas like network optimization, predictive maintenance, and customer service.
Indian telecom players Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea are using AI to enhance customer experience. As the technology matures and use cases become more defined, more telcos will likely become confident in the potential benefits of AI.
Areas AI can help telcos
AI has the potential to reshape the telecommunications industry in a number of ways.
- In network optimization: AI can help telecom companies optimize their network performance by analyzing data on usage patterns, network traffic, and other factors, allowing them to allocate resources more efficiently and ensure a better quality of service.
- In predictive maintenance: AI can predict equipment failures before they occur, allowing telecom companies to schedule maintenance activities in advance and minimize network downtime.
- In fraud detection: AI can detect fraudulent activities, such as unauthorized access to user accounts or fraudulent calls, allowing telecom companies to take action to prevent further losses.
- For marketing purposes: AI can analyze customer data and provide customized recommendations, offers, and support to enhance the customer experience and build brand loyalty.
- In Network Security: AI can help telecom businesses recognize and respond to cybersecurity threats like malware or phishing attacks before they cause significant damage.
- Customer service: telcos can use AI chatbots to improve customer service by immediately assisting customers. Chatbots can be programmed to answer common questions, resolve simple issues, and direct customers to the right department for more complex issues. This can improve customer satisfaction and reduce the workload for human customer service agents. AI-powered chatbots can provide 24/7 customer support, answering common questions and resolving issues quickly and efficiently.