The telecommunications services industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and is already using machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance their customer service.
According to a study by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global market for artificial intelligence is estimated to post an impressive 36.1% CAGR between 2016 and 2024, rising to a valuation of US$3,061.35 billion by the end of 2024 from US$126.14 billion in 2015.
As the market is seeing a rapid growth in Europe, North America and Latin America, the telecom services spending in Asia-Pacific region was projected to grow by around 2.06% in 2016 compared to 2015.
Technavio’s market research analysts predict that the global telecom IoT market to grow steadily and post an impressive CAGR of more than 42% by 2020.
Even as IoT is set to revolutionize industries in its own way, it is worth noting that IoT would produce terabytes, petabytes and exabytes of big data. The focus has now shifted from how to drive value from these data sets to utilizing them in a more productive manner.
It’s simply impossible for humans to process all of this data — and even more so with traditional methods — even if you cut down the sample size.
Put together, the stats hint at a major transformation of telecom sector with AI and Machine Learning in the next decade. The telecom sector is the artery of connectivity, and we have new opportunities to deploy services and value using the new age technology.
There is an increasing realization that enhancing the telecom industry with AI could lead to various new revenue streams.
AI has vast applications in this sector; the most significant potential are the classification of traffic, anomaly detection and network optimization and utilization. Apart from this, it can also help in:
- Complex decisions based on detecting a large number of hidden or hierarchical influencers
- Autonomous decision making
As Randy Dean, Chief Business Officer at Sentient Technologies says, “Everything invented in the past 150 years will be reinvented using AI within the next 15 years.”
The potential of AI is profound in telecom sector — from front end customer services to better service delivery via better network performance and reliability.
IDC predicts that 31.5% of the telecommunication organizations are mainly focusing on utilizing current infrastructure and 63.5% are committing investments on AI systems.
What are the transformation opportunities in the telecom sector and the role of ML in optimizing customer service? Telecom leaders believe that ML in telecom sector will be the key to derive and infer people’s behavior, their needs and wants, all based on anonymous data collection.
In this video, Amdocs’ Doron Youngerwood and Ovum’s Eden Zoller share their thoughts on the opportunities AI presents
The telecom sector has a giant global market presence, with the mobile services segment comprising a large chunk. Due to the ease of transmission of data, efficiency and flexibility of services, the growth of telecom industry is seeing an upsurge with big names like IBM, Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, Juniper Networks, Tata, Nokia and Vodafone.
Value-added services including electronic data interchange e-mail, data processing, voicemail, online database storage and basic telecommunication services including circuit-switched data transmission, facsimile services, voice telephone services and others are set to gain through AI and ML.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has established a group that concentrates on Cognitive Management Architecture to create networks that adjust to user needs and environment keeping business goals in mind.
The self-learning networks configure themselves to optimum conditions, scaling up efficiency of service while cutting down costs. The machines are capable of asking customer service-type questions, including troubleshooting, order tracking, and usage.
While companies across the globe are researching on how AI can be put to practice to attain exponential growth and efficiency, Verizon and AT&T are already incorporating AI into their telecom processes.
Telenor, in Norway, has taken a different approach to AI development. It has contributed funding and anonymised data to help establish a new AI research centre, based in Trondheim and linked to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Read more about it here (PDF)
ZeroStack’s ZBrain Cloud Management, which analyses private cloud telemetry storage and use, is improving capacity planning, upgrades and general management.
AI and ML have a huge role to play in tackling customer services via chatbots and virtual assistants that are skilled in language understanding, speech recognition, pattern recognition, decision-making, language translation.
Virtual assistants like Alexa have a role in intelligence-driven care via interacting with sensors. O2, whose parent company is Telefónica, launched its new interface Aura that is powered by AI. In April last year, Vodafone introduced its new chatbot — TOBi.
Furthermore, big data-based services collect, manage and analyse large amounts of structured and unstructured data enabling participants of telecommunication industry to increase revenues through new services, including marketing and sales, product developments, customer retention, and customer servicing.
According to estimates, global mobile advertising in 2017 reached $41.9 billion and telecommunication companies would be a big part of it, if they own delivery networks and serving targeted ads.
Experts are now hinting at the need for a new type of engineering which will combine knowledge from electronics and IoT with ML, AI, robotics, cloud and data management, to harness the new digital transformation.
It is a significant disruption in telecommunication industry and embracing changes can immensely benefit businesses in the telecom sector.