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How data and AI are key to future networks

UK mathematician, Clive Humby said in 2006 that, “Data is the new oil.” It may be an overused statement nowadays, but have you heard the rest of the quote? “It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used.”

women holding a drone

The value of data 

It’s the second part the quote that I find especially interesting, and it addresses some very important things in the telecom industry. Today, massive amounts of data constantly hits a mobile network. For example, 4 terabits of data hits a US service providers mobile network every second, and that same network registers 15 million data events every second. The thing is, these figures won’t be slowing down anytime soon as IoT and 5G come into play. 
 

Humans can’t manage future networks alone 

The market will become much more complex in the future. The number of new use cases enabled by 5G and network slicing, virtualization of networksedge computing and the continued explosion of data volumes in mobile networks propelled by video and more devices will force networks to transform into dynamic networks that are able to react in real-time to increased demands, problems and shifts in traffic. 

We mortals won’t be able to manage all this alone. We’ll need huge amounts of data and artificial intelligence just to manage the networks, let alone the devices that demand its attention. As Humby said, the data in itself is not valuable, it must be refined to add value. And that refinement must in many cases be done fast, close to real-time, to be able to quickly act on insights but also to avoid the need to store data in big data lakes that will increase the cost for getting to those valuable insights.  

But how best can service providers do this? The answer has to do with how we balance AI, automation and human capabilities to most efficiently power these networks of the future. 

 

Transforming networks today for tomorrow’s demands 

These are big subjects, but many service providers are already on their way to transforming their networks, optimizing efficiency and deploying services in hours rather than months 
 
For those who may be at the start of their journey, we want to keep things simple. That’s why we’ve launched a new AI and automation eBrief series that looks closer at these exciting challenges and opportunities. Read our very first eBrief here and find out what’s on the horizon for AI and automation for service providers, and what trends are shaping the digital economy. 

 

Download ebrief

Read more about Ericsson’s AI and automation here. 

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