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Automating Thailand customer experiences

The Thailand market is very dynamic with some of the most ICT-savvy consumers in the world. According to Ericsson estimates, data consumption per subscription in Thailand is expected to grow nearly 2.5 times in the next 2 years. Further, Industry 4.0 is also gathering pace in the country as enterprises transform their operations in line with the Government’s Digital Thailand ambitions.
 Transforming customer experiences with network automation

These industrial use cases need reliable, secure and robust connectivity. In short, the  increasing consumer and enterprise demand is placing new and complex requirements on the networks of Thailand’s Communications Service Providers (CSPs).

Zero-touch Operations are becoming an essential facilitator for securing the future of reliable and efficient network operations.  Zero-touch enables CSPs to make their network operations more data-driven, predictive and proactive. Leveraging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning reduces the need for manual activities and enable CSPs greater business agility.

In an AI & Automation report by Ericsson, 90 percent of operators state that AI is important in boosting customer experience. “Highly automated network operations will differentiate service providers and give them a competitive advantage, but failure to automate could be costly, detracting from user experience due to long lead times to provision services and resolve problems. Thai CSPs need to increasingly leverage AI to cope with the increasing data traffic in Thailand and boost the end-user experience of the network,” states Igor Maurell, Head of Ericsson Thailand.

Ericsson’s Managed Services solutions enhance the ability of CSPs to efficiently meet their customers’ expectations by assuring performance, capacity and coverage of mobile and fixed networks and services. Ericsson launched its AI-based, data-driven approach to Managed Services, the Ericsson Operations Engine, in 2020. As a leading global Managed Service provider with 100 contracts world-wide, Ericsson continues to prioritize investing in and leveraging AI and machine learning technologies to make network operations more data-driven and predictive.

 “At Ericsson, we have moved away from being reactive and incident-driven in the way we operate networks, towards automation and machine learning processes with AI capabilities to predict and prevent problems before they even happen. We use AI to cut through the complexity, address requirements of new technologies and use cases, increase network performance and enable network automation. Our collaboration with a Thai Communications Service Provider on implementing customer-centric network operations and exemplifies the benefits of Ericsson’s data-driven approach.” states Igor.

Since January 2020, Ericsson has been managing network operations for a Thai CSP across the country with the Ericsson Operations Engine – an AI-powered platform that supplies, maintains and updates all the tools the operations team needs. Under its managed services partnership, Ericsson has also been working with a strong eco-system of partners throughout Thailand on site visit reduction, prediction and AI capabilities in field operations. Since implementing the Ericsson Operations Engine, the operator has been able to manage consumer experiences and enhance customer satisfaction by tracking Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and complaints on a daily basis, compared with previously, when it was tracked on a monthly or quarterly basis.

“To redefine the consumer experience, we focused on the experience, the reliability and stability of the network, rather than just the network speed provided to consumers,” states Igor.

Ericsson’s collaboration with the Thai CSP on network experience and performance has led to strong outcomes. “We now have more than 300 use cases deployed in the network, have reduced customer complaints by 37%, improved the time-to-repair issues by 88% and 90% activities in the network operations today are touch-free.”

“We see that combining AI and automation capabilities with aggregated insights, can enable CSPs to predict customer needs and deliver personalized experiences,” states Igor.

As a global leader in network operations, Ericsson has strong experience in managing both mobile and converged networks. In fact, more than 30 per cent of Ericsson’s Managed Services contracts include converged networks. Spanish operator, MasMovil, has a fixed network covering 18 million homes with ADSL and over 29 million with fibre. Over the past two years, MasMovil has been able to enhance the efficiency of their network operations by leveraging the Ericsson Operations Engine, increasing automation levels by 40-45% and reducing site visits by 14%.

Lowering energy consumption while maintaining network performance is also vital. That’s where optimized user experience and careful management of network performance comes into play. While managing the operator network end-to-end, Ericsson deploys holistic energy management solutions, using AI and machine learning, that are applied to all technologies and infrastructure, taking into consideration the traffic paradigms and user experience. This focus on energy efficiency is well suited to the sustainability focus of Thai operators. Ericsson’s approach to energy efficiency is bringing in measurable results. For example, the deployment of Ericsson’s Service Continuity AI apps suite by leading Taiwanese service provider Far EasTone has delivered a 25-percent saving on daily network power consumption, with no adverse impact on performance and the promise of further energy savings.

Another example that illustrates the benefits of modernizing the network is the work Ericsson has done with Digi in Malaysia. With emerging technologies like 5G and IoT and a rising tide of connected devices on the horizon, Digi called on Ericsson Managed Services to help it modernize its network operations—and do it fast.

Powered by a team of global experts and the Ericsson Operations Engine, Ericsson badged 384 Digi employees and transitioned 3,116 activities in just 11 weeks. The impact was immediate. In only 3 months, trouble ticket automation increased rapidly from 12% to 87% and Net Promoter Score (NPS) began its steady climb from 12 in Q2 2019 to nearly 16 in Q2 2020. Ericsson Operations Engine was essential in bringing in machine learning and AI into Digi’s Net Promoter Score. Just like with NPS, AI is expected to positively impact every key indicator in the network, all from CAPEX, OPEX, network performance and customer satisfaction.

“Running a 5G network, combined with the demands of increased connectivity and mission-critical use cases is only possible when applying AI and automation. AI operations and optimization fixes faults before they impact customer services and allows for faster time-to-market for new services and offerings. This is especially important as Thailand transforms to a digital economy, with enterprises digitalizing as per the Thai Government’s vision,” Igor said.

“At Ericsson, we are rewriting the rules of network operations through automation, AI and the power of data. Our automated network technology upgrades and AI are helping our customers globally and in Thailand efficiently improve their performance and network capabilities whilst managing increasing data traffic growth. In turn, this is enabling CSPs to deliver a better customer experience and provide innovative offerings.”

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