Telecom network operators are being faced with both market and economic pressures that over the next seven years will push them towards greater use of artificial intelligence-driven solutions. Market intelligence firm Tractica issued a report that estimates that global investment in the telecom industry for AI software, hardware and services will reach $36.7 billion annually by 2025.
Telecom network operators who are embracing AI are hoping to better control their operating expenses, particularly human capital. In 2017 they saw their revenue per bit falling below their cost per bit. At the same time the operators faced threats from fast and highly efficient web-scale companies brought about by digital transformation. In addition, they must also tackle the complexities associated with the next-generation 5G/Internet of Things (IoT) networks that are pressuring them in the areas of management and profitability.
“The telecom industry is ripe for AI-driven solutions, with their promise of lowering costs and boosting efficiencies through automation,” says principal Tractica analyst Mark Beccue. “Many telecom operators have begun to experiment and deploy AI-driven solutions in both customer-facing and internal organizations.”
Tractica’s report, “Artificial Intelligence for Telecommunications Applications”, identifies the areas likely to have AI deployments, indicating that network operations monitoring and management will account for 61% of the sector’s AI spending between 2016 and 2025. In addition, AI applications will move into virtual assistants for customer service and marketing, intelligent customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and cybersecurity, among others.