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Telecom Industry Needs AI to Stay in Business

The Telecom sector was among the first to use Chatbots and bits of AI in its day-to-day operations. However, with the 5G taking over, the AI has a more holistic role to play with the telecom sector. The service providers are left with huge packets of data that they store for years. Apart from the simple database of customers, billing requirements, usage patterns, location details all need to be stored and analyzed as per industry standards. Adding to this is the humongous task of network maintenance. According to the studies by Ericsson, the granddaddy of the telecom sector, 56 % of the interviewed consumers stated they expect telecom service providers to anticipate their needs even before they know what they are. As against the popular concepts, globally, even the pool of customers has not plateaued. Gartner forecast that 20.4 billion devices will be used globally by 2020 and AI is crucial in improving services.

Chatbots, oldest friend phone subscribers

Vodafone launched TechSee platform that helped technical operators to see customer’s environment and troubleshoot remotely. This could lower the dispatch rate of technicians by 26%. It managed to improve customer satisfaction by 68%. Vodafone’s new chatbot TOBi handles a wide range of customer service queries. It is claimed that it has doubled the conversion rate already. Voice assistants which are commonly known as Virtual assistants (like Alexa) have started effectively handling the one-on-one conversations. According to a study by Juniper Research, this is going to save $8bn to companies by 2022. Nokia’s virtual assistant MIKA suggests solutions to network issues. The estimates say that it has led to up to 40% improvement in first-time resolution rate. Apart from this AI-enabled CRM tools used by other companies also come handy in the telecom industry.

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AI helps in Network Optimization

Network Optimization is a crucial factor that determines the quality of the internet and calls on a network. Artificial Intelligence algorithms monitor patterns to identify issues in the network and fix them before customers feel the heat. Nokia’s Machine Learning platform AVA, for instance, can pre-sense service degradation a week in advance and help service providers take preventive measures. The AI solutions help companies in capacity planning and prepare for upgradations well in advance. Another solution named ZBrain Cloud Management analyses private cloud telemetry storage and helps with capacity planning.

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Predictive Maintenance cover issues before it’s known

AI-driven solutions use historical data to monitor the health of equipment used by telecom giants. It can anticipate failure based on patterns. The problem is reported well in advance to prevent a break in service. AT&T, for instance, uses AI to help in the maintenance of towers and drones are used for the surveillance of assets. Apart from this, it can deploy drones to enhance LTE network at temporary venues such as concerts. Researchers hope that AI systems can schedule and deploy such enhancers.

Robotic process automation (RPA) takes care of back office

Back office operations and repetitive tasks are being automated by telecom companies. This includes billings, data entry, staff detail maintenance among others. The existing staffers are freed up for more important back-office task. Deloitte studies point out that 40% of telecom executives themselves think that cognitive technologies have substantially benefitted them.

Key players 

IBM
Microsoft
Intel
AT&T
Nokia
Cisco Systems
Nuance Communications
H2O.ai

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