What do telcos want from AI?

Written by Ian Scales

What do telcos want from AI?

As network complexity has increased, so too has the telco need to tap greater network intelligence. As a result, telcos have long seen artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning in particular, as an essential work in progress to help them more effectively tackle the configuration, orchestration, maintenance, energy efficiency and general operational  challenges they face across their networks.

But it’s fair to say that the telco journey, from basic machine learning to something approaching full-blown AI, has so far been unspectacular and built around a relatively myopic worldview. It tends to target specific tasks and is based on predefined rules and data patterns gleaned from data largely sourced from its own networks and support systems – after all, if there’s one thing telcos have in abundance, it’s network data.

However, it could be argued that this approach might have become a hindrance for an industry attempting to think its way out of its low profitability rut. Perhaps telco AI needs to look beyond its traditional boundaries?

That’s where generative AI (GenAI) comes in. It aims to cast the all-important training data net wider: In this case, beyond the telco itself and even beyond the rest of its ecosystem and peers and into the world at large. Out there might be found valuable data and insights capable of being tacked together with a telco’s own data to provide pointers to business strategy, tactics and political manoeuvring to help aspiring digital service providers (DSPs) to better make their way in the world.

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