Every few decades, a new technology rises to challenge what we have known all along and how we have always done things. In the past five years, this technology has been artificial intelligence. Using powerful algorithms and various other technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) is now capable of doing this that only humans would do in the past.
Its versatility and application across all industries have made it a must-have and must-use technology in different sectors. In telecommunications, AI’s ability to optimize operations, reduce operational costs, improve customer satisfaction, reduce network outages, and enhance customer experiences has seen its use grow.
The Growth of AI in Telecommunications
Several factors are leading to the growth of AI in telecommunications, and projections are showing this growth will continue in the near future – and potentially for decades after that. According to research done by melita.com, the global AI in the telecom market was estimated to be worth $1.2 billion in 2021. It is expected to grow to $38.8 billion by 2031, according to a recent Allied Market Research report.
The improving capabilities of AI and the increasing demand for data and robust telecommunications networks are the two main pillars from which the growth and utility of AI in telecommunication are derived.
Let’s look at the primary growth drivers in this market.
Working With Big Data
AI and machine learning make it easier to work with large data sets, and telecom companies are already leveraging these capabilities in different ways. For example, they are using powerful AI algorithms to extract insights from vast data sets. The insight extracted from this data makes it easier to resolve issues more efficiently and ensure improved customer experiences, satisfaction, and service.
Working with Big Data involves handling and analyzing massive volumes of data that exceed the capabilities of traditional data processing applications. The term “Big Data” is often associated with three main characteristics known as the three Vs:
Refers to the enormous amount of data that needs to be processed and stored. This data can be in terabytes, petabytes, or even exabytes, originating from various sources like social media, sensors, transactions, and more.
Indicates the speed at which data is generated, collected, and processed. Big Data sources often produce data in real-time or at high speeds, requiring rapid processing and analysis to derive valuable insights.
Encompasses the diverse types of data generated from various sources, including structured data (e.g., databases), semi-structured data (e.g., XML, JSON), and unstructured data (e.g., text, images, videos). Working with Big Data involves handling and integrating these different data types.
Additionally, some telecom companies are using AI to drive data-driven decisions, which is changing how they handle decision-making.
Reducing Human Intervention
AI is also reducing the need for human interventions in network configuration and maintenance. The best example of this is using AI to detect issues before they cause downstream issues for telecom users and customers.
Telecommunication companies spend most of the time maintaining their network looking for the origin of an issue so workers can rectify it. With Ai, telecom companies can detect issues much earlier to prevent them in the first place.
Even when they occur, they have to spend exponentially less time rectifying them, leading to a lot less maintenance overhead on their end and better network service for customers.
The Growth of 5G and Demand for AI Elsewhere
Although not as quickly as many people hoped and projected, 5G is becoming a primary driver for the growth of AI in the telecom industry. First, 5G-enabled devices require much more bandwidth than 4G devices, so telcos have to optimize their networks to accommodate the 5G devices. AI is a much better solution than humans due to its analysis and data processing capabilities.
Second, 5G is enabling increasing usage of the Internet of Things. One of the factors that have previously held IoT back is the lack of a robust network that can support thousands of devices, sensors, and equipment interconnected to support each other and work harmoniously.
With 5G, IoT is now much more viable than ever before, leading to an increase in the usage of AI. Telecommunication can now leverage AI and IoT while providing the data capabilities their customers need to do the same.
Use in Customer Service
Many industries already leverage AI in various capacities to support their customer service endeavors. Chatbots have been around for some time now. With AI integration, they have become a much better tool for providing excellent customer service.
They do this by drawing from their vast knowledge databases to provide automated and personalized responses to requests and queries. In telecommunications, as in other business sectors, this reduces customers’ waiting times and lowers customer service costs.
Helping Thwart Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity threats are a reality for many businesses. Telecommunication companies are a lucrative target due to their unique position globally and how crucial they are to their workings. Some studies estimate that up to 90% of all global businesses are attacked daily, with telecommunication companies making up a notable number of those businesses.
AI is helping businesses in the telecommunications sector protect themselves and their networks. It does this through continuous network monitoring, identifying anomalies and rectifying them.
The global AI telecommunication market and its various projects will continue to grow. This growth is driven by several factors, some in the telecommunications sector and others outside it. With its present capabilities and those experts think it will have in the future, AI will continue to play a crucial role in telecommunications.