Digitization has shifted the competitive boundaries in this sector with voice and messaging businesses experiencing a downward spiral due to the frantic use of social media channels as a medium of communication.
The telecom industry has undergone a radical transformation in the last few years.
Digital and new age technologies have also presented a plethora of opportunities for telecom companies to rebuild their market positions, and re-engineer their existing business processes and products to delight customers. Adopting newer technologies can create strong competitive advantage for telecom companies, while improving customer engagement.
With increasing unpredictability in the market, magnitude of the competition and ever-changing customer expectations, organizations need to renovate, innovate and evolve much faster than the market to stay relevant. Several leading industry influencers, analysts and futurists have reaffirmed that AI can help an organization endure the storm of changes in the ecosystem.
Just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago, today we have a hard time thinking of an industry that we don’t think AI will transform in the next several years.
Powering the Experience Economy with AI
Demand for personalized customer experiences across different industries is fueling the AI boom. McKinsey projects that telecom, high tech, and financial services are the leading early adopters of machine learning and AI to gain competitive and internal process efficiencies.
Forward-thinking telecom companies are increasingly plugging in conversational artificial intelligence in their strategic investment roadmaps to leverage it for customer service functions. Regardless of wherever you fall in the AI spectrum, the fact that speaks volumes is that we’re foraying into a key transformative cycle across most industries.
Artificial intelligence is poised to unleash the next wave of disruption in telecom. The advent of artificial intelligence, sharing economies, advanced automation and modern currencies are likely to disrupt the face of the telecom business landscape.
The next few years are expected to be the golden age of the consumer, who’d have more control and choices than ever before. This continued evolution in consumer demand, coupled with proliferated smartphone usage, will continue to drive fundamental changes in the way consumers react to services and have taken the consumer-brand collaboration to the whole new level.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) & The Telecom Industry
The telecom industry is increasingly adopting AI, primarily triggered by the enterprise requirements to drive viable efficiencies and consumer demand for contextualization. It helps telecom operators in assessing the offer conversion rates and content usage trends. AI also plays a critical role in subscriber profiling that helps in extending custom offers to subscribers based on their specific needs, at the right time.
AI can help incredibly in the support department of telecom companies by detecting the problem and take actions autonomously within the policy framework. It can also predict system failure and prompt the remedial actions to combat the situation. With 5G network, high-density urban deployments would be needed, which will generate many patterns that would not be possible for humans to manage, but which AI can.
Why does Telecom need AI now?
Disruptive technologies such as IoT have created a number of endpoints for the telecom operators. The Advent of 5G is likely to lead to high-density urban deployments, which would create multitudes of patterns that’d be practically impossible for humans to manage but a task made easy by self-learning AI.
AI is likely to impact the telecom industry across a wide range of areas such as:
- Traffic classification
- Anomaly detection
- Resource utilization
- Network optimization
- Network orchestration
- Humanizing telecom customer service through AI-powered chatbots
- Creating personalized and adaptive customer journeys
Betting on AI to lead the expectations game in telecom customer support
AI can deliver a certain level of responsiveness that isn’t humanly possible. A Forrester report on Customer Service Trends discusses the concept of pre-emptive customer service. The telecom sector companies have now started to tap the power of intelligent virtual agents to supplement their static self-service content with conversational interfaces. Proactive support, self-service, call deflections are now standard. This proactive customer experience offers telecom companies with a competitive advantage in the form of increased productivity and efficiency gains and will solve most of the issues related to customer care, network coverage, billing, service/product offering and many more. Personalization of service and care would witness a new benchmark. Integration of omni-channels and knowledge sources helps a great deal in this transformation. It’s a win-win situation for telecom companies and customers, alike.
AI to play a key role in automating the telecom networks
IDC has predicted that 31.5% of the telecommunication organizations are mainly focusing to utilize current infrastructure and 63.5% are making new technology investments for AI systems. The Counterpoint Research indicates that the AI application in mobile networks covers three applications – Self Optimizing Networks (SONs), Software Defined Networks (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and enablement of neural networks. SONs are likely to be the first to arrive and these would enable the operators to automatically optimize the network quality that’s based on traffic information by region and time zone, powered by different machine learning algorithms.
The telecom industry, by virtue of its scale and continued growth, is a perfect playfield for highly sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation technologies. Leveraging this disruptive technology, telecom companies can dramatically cut down their operating costs, while improving their quality and speed of services and resultant customer experience. Machines have already started reading the network content that determines how to route the network traffic. The next frontier would be self-optimizing networks that are based on the existing conditions, pre-set goals and limits. However, we are just at the beginning. The telecom industry is poised to see even bigger changes, driven by AI, with the ultimate goal of delighting the customers.