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AI in 5G networks: Highlights from our latest report

Artificial intelligence (AI) stemming from the latest mobile communications innovations is the subject of our latest market research report: “Employing AI techniques to enhance returns on 5G network investments” The downloadable report offers sharp, peer-based guidance for today’s service providers facing a range of AI/5G critical business decisions. In this blog post, we take a look at the key findings.

man in a server room
Mohit Malhan 

Solutions Marketing Manager

The switch to AI-enabled 5G networks is happening now

Applying AI applications to 5G for the purposes of streamlining and customizing services and increasing a provider's return on investment (ROI) is no longer a futuristic fantasy, but a quickly evolving reality.

All around the world, service providers are in the midst of moving 5G forward through planning, trials and operations. But the fluctuating complexities of this exciting 5G revolution have sometimes presented a barrier to obtaining actionable, reliable data.

Our latest report helps to change that, by providing service providers with critical information about using AI with 5G, including business and operational challenges, benefits and opportunities. For C-suite decision makers and anyone with an interest in developing AI techniques to enhance 5G planning, trials and deployment, the latest findings offer critical and timely insight.

 

Download our latest AI in 5G networks report today.

Over half of operators expect to adopt AI in their networks by 2020

The impetus for the latest report comes from an increasing need for relevant, up-to-date data about how service providers view and integrate AI in to their networks as they embark on their 5G journey. And this report provides exactly that, based on a global comparison of high-level business objectives.

Mapping the response of more than 160 executives from well over a hundred operators across the globe, the report provides valuable insights — both broad and specific — about the reasoning and expectations of service providers in using AI (machine learning) applications across 5G networks. In some instances, the findings may even surprise to the point that they could impact or alter current business decisions.

Given the senior management nature of the participants, from CTOs to CFOs, the report's underlying data is considered highly representative of current service provider thinking. Consequently, it can serve as a near real-time road map as to the current confluence of AI and 5G and where it's heading. For instance, more than half of operators across the globe expect to adopt AI in their networks by the end of 2020.

How should operators plan, trial and implement AI across their networks?

Based on qualitative insights, the report offers important recommendations for planning, trialing and implementing AI applications on 5G networks. Some key explorations include:

  • building standardized interfaces to access relevant and actionable data
  • exploring ways of using AI to optimize the customer experience
  • running early trials with new customer segments to identify AI opportunities
  • examining use of AI and automation for network operations, including planning and optimization
  • ensuring early adoption of new solutions for AI and automation to facilitate introduction of new use cases

91 percent of operators in Southeast Asia, Oceania and India want more AI in the network

Important data is disclosed on the challenges of incorporating AI use cases that are associated with 5G's faster speeds, low latency and evolving standards, all of which add an element of somewhat uncertainty.

With the integration of 5G technologies such as new radio spectrum bands, denser topologies, massive MIMO and beamforming, mobile data traffic is expected to increase by a factor of five over the next five years. Additionally, the rapid expansion of the Internet of Things will require close to real-time latency.

To meet demand, operators increasingly want to introduce more AI across the network. For example, 91 percent of service providers in Southeast Asia, Oceania and India want to embed AI more readily into their networks.

Figure 1: Percentage of service providers who want to embed AI in their network

Figure 1: Percentage of service providers who want to embed AI in their network


Weighing all the considerations, the report makes a compelling case for how a successful adoption of AI serves as an essential component for handling the increased traffic and other complexities, including the facilitation of faster, more responsive on-demand networks.

64 percent of operators will focus their AI efforts on improving network capacity planning

The report explores a number of AI opportunities that are being widely considered or pursued by operators. The primary focus among operators is to use AI to improve network capacity management (64 percent of operators). Other focus areas include reducing network planning timeframes, and infrastructure modeling to reduce capital expenditures (CapEx).

Based on the data, however, the benefits of AI are shown to extend beyond cost-management and network-management efficiencies, with one notable addition being the enhancement of the user experience. Also touched on is the drive among providers to build AI reasoning-based systems that can eventually introduce the self-healing, self-optimizing, and self-configuring networks of tomorrow.

Across the board, the report captures a strong correlation between increased reliance on smart automation enabled by AI and significant returns on investments realized principally through reduced operating costs.

By 2024, 5G is expected to cover more than 40% of the world's population. Will you and your organization be part of that astounding growth?

Download our report, Employing AI techniques to enhance returns on 5G network investments, today.

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