5G is a complex network that involves millions of interconnected devices, offers ultra–low-latency services, and newer capabilities such as network slicing and edge computing. For communications service providers (CSPs), designing, optimizing, and managing their own 5G services to focus on quality customer experiences will require a transformed approach as they transition away from traditional 4G processes. The implementation of advanced analytics (AI) platforms will be key to achieving this transformation.
Let’s look at how CSPs can leverage the amazing power of AI in their 5G networks:
- Massive IoT device and data management: 5G is a key driver in creating an interconnected tech ecosystem. Devices such as sensors, mobile phones, drones, and many others used on 5G networks will expand across industries, beyond healthcare, auto manufacturing, and retail, to pioneer a massive IoT world generating a huge amount of data. CSPs, being at the center of the 5G ecosystem, can leverage AI for meaningful actionable insights from these devices, enhancing data management operations. With AI, data from mobile IoT devices can be used to learn more about users’ lifestyles, hobbies, and activity preferences, allowing CSPs to deliver personalized engagements.
- Network planning and optimization: To cater to higher traffic demands and varied latency requirements in 5G networks, CSPs will need to plan and optimize their networks efficiently. AI can play a crucial role in providing granular insights about the network and user experiences. It can give real-time visibility of customer engagements, helping CSPs quickly adapt to changing network conditions and maximize performance while also reducing the overall effort that goes into field visits for infrastructure maintenance. AI inspection drones can gather valuable information on field equipment functionality, and it’s all made possible with real-time network performance insights.
- Intelligent network management: AI can enable a simplified, streamlined way to manage the complexities of a 5G network, allowing CSPs to move from a reactive to a proactive approach. It offers predictive maintenance and recovery services, resolving issues at a much faster rate by quickly detecting and diagnosing them, thus moving toward the development of a self-healing network. AI-enabled chatbots can also be used to report issues, and then AI can automatically fix network problems in real time. For example, in the case of a CSP network outage, an AI-based network management solution can access the historical data and make basic parameter changes such as adjusting the reference power of a cell site, antenna tilt, and many others.
- Zero-touch automation: CSPs are making their 5G networks programmable and flexible, with on-demand services being activated and delivered in almost no time. The processes behind these services are automated during their entire lifecycle, through what’s known as zero-touch automation. AI is the foundation of this automation in 5G, making decisions while a new service gets activated and an old one gets shut down. When implemented in an automation platform, AI can autonomously pinpoint network issues, correlate them with previous actions, and then automatically execute an action, moving towards autonomous remediation.
- Enhanced customer experiences: An effective way a CSP can distinguish its business from the competition is by providing compelling experiences to its customers. A factor in helping achieve this is using AI-enabled chatbots or automated responses during customer support engagements to quickly resolve customer queries, allowing round-the-clock service and reducing calls to call centers. Functionalities such as sentiment analysis can be implemented to determine a user’s emotion from textual and voice data so the chatbot can accordingly drive the flow of conversations. Many other such examples can prove how AI not only leads to enhanced customer experiences, but also magnifies the probability of customer retention.
- New revenue streams: AI can play a significant role in providing extensive customer insights based on customer data, leading to more personalizing services. With a more precise understanding of customers’ behavior and interests, CSPs can recommend the right products, services, and plans, which in turn can generate new revenue opportunities.
- Carbon footprint reduction: Reducing carbon emissions is a top priority for most CSPs, and AI can make significant contributions to energy-saving efforts. An AI solution can be used to predict real-time data traffic patterns in a 5G network and, accordingly, activate sleep periods when necessary. Such dynamic management of network resources can reduce the overall power consumption. As mentioned previously, AI-based drones can be used for site surveys, reducing the need for physical field visits and thus saving energy.
5G compatibility adoption is essential for the CSP industry as more consumers and businesses rely on these networks around the world. With AI technologies, CSPs are uniquely positioned to mine the vast data generated in their 5G networks, allowing them to grow their businesses, reduce time to market, and become more competitive.
By developing an AI strategy that encompasses the range of advantages in reach, CSPs can prepare for growing consumer demands, open new business opportunities, and improve their sustainability efforts. A crucial step in this initiative is finding a business partner with the expertise to lead a comprehensive AI implementation, yet an understanding of AI’s advantages is vital to ensuring an organization fully benefits from them. With a combination of a thorough AI strategy and a leading tech consultant, CSPs can transform their networks and join the 5G revolution.