Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a crucial tool in managing and optimizing networks. It’s not a stretch to say that AI has redefined (and will continue to redefine) the telecommunications industry. In fact, AI and machine learning (ML) are most likely playing a significant role in your network architecture already, whether you are aware of it or not.
How much room is there for AI to grow within telecommunications? What infrastructure changes are businesses making for the increased bandwidth consumption of AI applications?
There is certainly a lot of speculation that can be made, but let’s look at what processes are currently affected by AI and what sort of benefits users gain from implementing machine learning technologies.
The Current State of AI in Telecommunications
Telecom networks have become increasingly more complex with the introduction of 5G, and AI plays a significant role in managing this complexity. The sheer amount of data that can be processed in a modern 5G network has been proven vital to businesses built with cloud applications. However, someone (or in this case, something!) has to manage all those bytes.
If efficiency and reliability are your goals, AI-powered algorithms have proven capable of analyzing data from networks to identify inefficiencies, predict potential errors, and suggest solutions. From reduced latency to intelligent traffic management, enterprises can, and quite often DO, utilize AI to streamline operations from implementation to optimization.
AI has revolutionized the way telecom companies handle maintenance. However, predictive maintenance using AI is nothing new. In fact, manufacturers utilize this form of analytical intelligence daily, according to a McKinsey article in 2021.
For telcos, AI increasingly enables network operators to foresee equipment failures and connectivity issues before they occur, thereby reducing network downtime. Research within multiple sectors shows that AI-based predictive maintenance can boost availability by up to 20% while reducing inspection costs and annual maintenance fees by up to 25% and 10%, respectively.
Cybersecurity has benefited enormously from AI. These self-learning systems can identify and respond to cyber threats faster than human administrators, protecting enterprises from potentially devastating data breaches.
Companies currently utilize AI for real-time threat detection and automated remediation in cloud applications, the IoT, and DDoS mitigation. However, it’s not just companies defending their data utilizing AI. Cybercriminals are increasingly adopting AI to cause greater damage without being noticed.
A study published in 2021 showed that among the AI-driven cyberattack techniques identified, 56% were demonstrated in the access and penetration phase. In contrast, the exploitation and command & control phases each accounted for 12%. Furthermore, 11% were seen in the reconnaissance phase, and the remaining 9% were displayed during the delivery phase of the cybersecurity kill chain.
Intelligent Network Slicing
AI-driven network slicing has revolutionized the deployment of 5G network technologies. AI will automate the creation of virtual networks tailored to specific use cases or customer needs and can function in real-time.
In 2020, IEEE Communications Magazine published a study that showed expected performance improvements in representative network slicing case studies ranging between a minimum of 25% upwards to 80%.
What’s going to happen next?
While AI and machine learning have proven pivotal for telecommunications technology, adoption rates are still low. According to a report released by Nvidia, the inability to quantify a return on investment (ROI) is holding businesses back from significant investment. Only 3% of companies surveyed had spent over $50 million on AI technologies, up from 2% in 2021.
As well, technological advancements are moving quicker than businesses can adapt. 34% of telco companies state there are too few data scientists on their rosters to implement AI into their offerings and architecture effectively.
What is clear from Nvidia’s research is that as cumbersome data tools and applications become more commonplace and sophisticated, telcos will look towards AI as a way to accelerate growth in this highly competitive space.
AI is not just a buzzword in the telecommunications industry; it’s a powerful tool already reshaping the landscape. With the current benefits ranging from network optimization to improved customer service, customers and their providers are on the cusp of a new era of telecommunications.
Astonishingly, even with the numerous advancements in AI technologies, the reality is that we’re just starting to scratch the surface. The future of telecommunications is undoubtedly intertwined with AI, promising an exciting journey ahead.
This is a thrilling journey that your business shouldn’t miss out on. Embrace AI’s transformative power in telecommunications with iTel Networks. As an industry leader in Canadian telecom, we understand the intricacies of your network’s needs and the immense potential of AI in shaping your operational efficiency, security, and future growth.
Our team of experienced professionals is ready to guide you through the complexities of AI integration into your telecommunications infrastructure. We’re equipped to offer robust solutions that maximize the effectiveness of AI technologies, from predictive maintenance to intelligent network slicing.