Utilizing artificial intelligence in telecom network operations is no longer a matter of staying ahead. In our digital age, AI and ML are becoming a must. The increasing complexity of service provisioning and maintenance forces telecommunication operators to apply ever more AI/ML-driven solutions to support their operations in order to fulfill growing customer needs and deal with increasing digital competition.
The 5G era is here, but are we sure we’re talking about the same 5G?
We’ve been hearing this a lot – 5G will change everything. At this point, many of us are kind of disappointed about the reality of 5G networks, because apart from faster and better service, not much has changed. So, can we say that 5G changes everything? Or anything, for that matter? Well, yes.
But not the 5G network that we’re already implementing. We’re talking about the 5G services yet to come.
Will the “miracle of SMS” repeat itself?
Before it entered the market, SMS wasn’t expected to become a very attractive service. After all, who’d prefer to send a texts when they could actually call someone and talk to them directly? SMS was designed as a niche. But reality has proven to be very different than the assumptions. The SMS service has conquered the world, becoming the prototype for many similar services. Its popularity exceeded the wildest expectations of its creators.
The constructors of 5G networks promise us possibilities that might repeat this phenomenon, but how the technology plays out depends vastly on network service providers.
Now vs. the future
We can already see many successful 5G network implementations, but we can’t feel much of a change in the services. There’s a simple explanation for this situation: to make a change, operators need to… well, make a change, which means upgrading telecoms network architecture. For now, most upgrades allow faster and more efficient use of already developed services. None of the operators have yet implemented changes that would allow the roll-out of brand new 5G services, which means that the real time of artificial intelligence in telecommunications operations such as provisioning and maintenance is yet to come.
Once the network is ready for service providers to construct new services, the change will be substantial. This will be another great revolution in mobile communications, comparable to transitioning from analog to digital systems. It will be a break – we’re just not sure exactly how it will play out.
Intelligent service provisioning and assurance are on the way
We can be sure of one thing, though – artificial intelligence in service provisioning, maintenance, and assurance will play a crucial role. Digital competition made the communication world change drastically. With open interfaces and digital management, the old guard can no longer enjoy the monopoly they once had. Traditional communication service providers are now on the starting line alongside digital competitors, and the race to win as big a part of the market as possible has begun.
This revolution will be unlike any other for one more reason – the communication world has speeded up, so service providers must prepare their operations and systems to the best of their ability. The time to invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning is now. Digital consumers are not willing to wait for upgrades. They want advances as fast as possible, and have no problem switching to different service providers if it means gaining new services.
This leads us to big changes in service provisioning and maintenance. The market will force operators to look for reasonably priced to provide them with service upgrades in a very short time. If these changes are to work well in the future, they need to start now.
Making decisions in uncertain times
Some AI-driven solutions are already available to CSPs. The problem is that, without real 5G services, there’re all very theoretical, which makes it difficult to compare them. Nevertheless, waiting for the “right” time comes might mean missing the opportunity to make crucial decisions.
This means one thing – the time to act is now. While it carries some risks, it also provides operators with a competitive advantage which may no longer be available if they wait. There will be big winners and big losers, and there’s only a little time to decide on which side you’ll be.