Generic telco AI platforms will be driven by open source, but it will be years before widespread commercial deployment
Oct 17, 2018
Oyster Bay, New York - 17 Oct 2018
The use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the telecom domain is now an established practice and chatbots, customer services, and network management are areas where AI is part of everyday operations. The latest report by ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, has identified that the latest trend for AI development in telecoms: AI platforms that focus on generic use rather than individual use cases.
“Despite the widespread use of AI and machine learning across many separated telecoms domains, AI platforms are now the top concern for leading mobile service providers globally, including AT&T, Deutsche Telecom, Telefonica, and Vodaphone,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research. “The promise of these platforms is great, but there is still heavy development to be done and many mobile service providers are still not sure where to place their bets. Initiatives like AT&T’s open sourced Project Acumos illustrate that open source will be the most suitable development environment for these telecom AI platforms, potentially meaning trouble for established AI vendors, such as Amazon, Google, and IBM.”
The use of these generic AI platforms is a natural fit for telecoms use cases, where mobile service providers can utilize the vast amounts of data they collect to improve their operations, enhance customer experience, and even provide value to business partners. For example, BT has saved tens of millions of pounds by combining human input, data collected from its network, and its own developed AI algorithm, to be able to predict the implication of any business decision on its network and financial position.
“Most mobile service providers are currently assessing AI platforms and whether they should invest in a centralized approach or continue with the use case specific AI applications they currently operate,” said Mavrakis. “Given that AI will be a critical technology for the future of any business, the right decision will translate to a serious competitive advantage and financial benefits. Tier-1 mobile service providers should embrace open source and get involved in the development of AI, arguably the most important technology in the 5G era.”
These findings are from ABI Research’s Artificial Intelligence Platforms for Telecom Networks report. This report is part of the company’s Telco Digitization research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights.