With AI software and Data Analytics in Place, Telecom Companies Can Improve their Service and Become Lots More Profitable
Whether most of the verticals will be impacted, or, even, disrupted by the rapid rise of AI is no longer up for debate. Telecom would be no exception.
According to Markets and Markets, the global market for AI software in the Telecommunications industry will have grown to nearly $ 2.5 billion from a modest $ 235.7 million in 2016.
Surprisingly, the onset of AI and Data Science will allow Telcos to not only make an investment and achieve better performance, but, also, to profit additionally, making the AI and Data Science transformation pay its way, at least, partially. Telecom operators will be able to create additional, meaningful revenue streams for themselves by tapping into the business niches they haven’t, previously, even, imagined could be profited from.
Let’s take a closer look at the three major possible areas of interest for Telecom businesses in the AI space, - improved performance, increased profitability of their service offering, and additional profitability and try to identify the more promising uses of AI and Data Science in the Telco sector.
Using Artificial Intelligence and Data Science to Improve Network Performance, Reliability, and Security
Just like most sizable enterprise companies, Telecoms have always had enough problems to deal with. Some of these problems have proven extremely resistant to any conventional means, and, obviously, require an utterly innovative approach to be disposed of. A plethora of recurrable issues, which can, potentially, crop up any minute, need to be monitored for and expeditiously detected and fixed if they, actually, occur. This is the exact reason why AI’s introduction in the Telco industry is underpinned by the concept of what one can call “a self-serving” (and, more specifically, self-regulating, self-healing and self-protecting) network.
Can we expect the present-day and near-future AI to be capable of making this concept a reality?
To answer this question, we’ll examine below some of the uses of Artificial Intelligence in Telecom that are becoming the driving force behind the Telco sector’s AI transformation. In our opinion, these uses of AI in Telecom prove that the technology is already mature enough to become a real game-changer.
With AI in place, you network will be able to respond automatically to any significant overload that may arise. It will become possible for the network to detect an overload, create automatically the number of virtual machines, required to handle the incoming amount of traffic, and funnel the excessive traffic via these virtual machines, promptly and without human involvement.
Optimizing Service Quality by Predicting Future Network Usage
The AI technology of Machine Learning can help you optimize your service quality.
You can use Machine Learning algorithms to predict how the usage of your network will vary across the different geographies it covers during a specific time period. It can be possible to factor in a host of criteria to achieve better optimization results, including time zone, hour, weather, national or regional holidays, and more.
Performing Predictive Maintenance
Without Artificial Intelligence, you can hardly, ever, preempt a hardware-related network problem, until it, actually, emerges to affect, or, sometimes, even, disrupt your normal operation.
Machine Learning is now turning the tables on you by giving you the ability to detect various alarming network signals (for example, those, emitted by cell towers or powerlines), that may be a precursor of a forthcoming network failure.
In essence, Artificial Intelligence can take the robustness and reliability of your network to an entire new level.
Averting Malicious Actions
Machine Learning can reliably secure your network against malicious actions, such as, for example, DDoS attacks.
With Machine Learning, your network can be trained to identify a large number of similar requests, inundating it simultaneously, and make a decision on whether to deny these requests flat-out, or shunt them to another, less busy Data Center to be dealt with manually by your employees.
Increasing the Profitability of a Telecom Company’s Service Offering
AI applications can help you both personalize your service offering and customer journey, and achieve greater customer satisfaction and profitability due to this personalization.
There are many diverse uses of AI associated with the above, and we will dwell on just several of them.
Better Customer Targeting and Personalized Upselling
The powers AI and Data Analytics can be combined to help you gain better insights into your subscribers’ preferences and offer them much better tailored service packages, while also doing so at the time they would be most likely to order.
Machine Learning (and in particular, Natural Language Understanding, Image Recognition and Video Processing) algorithms can identify the various type of content, consumed by your subscriber over an extended period of time, range their preferences, and find similar content that you’ll be able to offer. Moreover, Machine Learning and Data Analytics will make it possible to present your subscriber with this bespoke offer just when they are likely to be in possession of more funds and, thus, more prone to buy. The latter will be determined based on the subscriber’s purchasing history.
AI-enabled predictive modelling makes it possible to analyze several thousand diverse indicators (Web, Device, Service, Value, Billing, Technical Stream, Social data) for each of your subscribers in order to predict their future behavior. This, in turn, can allow one to compose more effective, tailored offers for both entire customer segments and individual customers.
Similar to how AI software can help you sell better, it can also help you upsell better. As new services are introduced, you will know which of your subscribers should be contacted first with your new service offering.
And, of course, both your Customer Targeting and Upselling can be given a huge boost by chat bots. These AI apps can become ideal performers to further act on your analytical findings.
Raising Profitability and Improving Customer Service with Chat Bots
For some reason, the very first thing that comes to mind at the mention of Artificial Intelligence in the Telecom industry is the ever more popular newfound forms of intelligence, called chat bots, or virtual assistants.
Chat bots can improve, scale up, or, even, internationalize your Customer Service. They can increase one’s customer satisfaction through the provision of a quicker response time and customer support in languages that would, otherwise, not be possible. However, improved customer satisfaction is not the greatest boon a Telecom can be afforded by chat bots.
Due to the ML-powered ability to provide a much broader range of qualified tips and the NLP-enabled gift of speaking in tongues, the more advanced chat bots can become incredibly sharp sellers. Often, they can easily outdo human customer service representatives, which, in due time, will translate in additional earnings for your Telecom business.
Providing Voice-Managed Services
Along with the ability to use chat bots, AI gives you the ability to introduce voice-managed services.
Your customers will be able to purchase media content, or book a service by just placing a voice request, instead of having to contact your customer service in writing every time they need something.
Predicting Your Customers Media Content Preferences
With AI, you are uniquely enabled to predict your customers’ likes, dislikes, and the related demand even prior to when they order something from you.
A Machine Learning capability can analyze the content, stored by your customers in the Cloud, and come up with recommendations on what can be offered to each specific customer. AI software can also form a tailored offer the customer will be familiarized with automatically.
Monetizing the Additional Opportunities AI Applications and Data Analytics Create in Telecom
While making it possible to better protect your network and optimize your performance, AI and Data Analytics can open entirely new revenue streams for your Telco company.
These opportunities can be referred to as “sidelines” and they can be taken up by Telecoms in order to diversify and hike up their earnings. Strange at it may seem, these opportunities are in no way associated with one’s newly acquired ability to achieve cost savings through network optimization or enhanced customer service.
So, what is it all about then?
Any non-startup Telco provider has amassed vast amounts of data that can tell quite a bit about their clientele’s preferences, spending habits, places of interest, routes, and more.
Wherever permitted by the State and local legislation, this data (although, usually, anonymized), can be shared with those, who require it to better market their products or services.
AI and Data Analytics can easily help you monetize such opportunities very profitably. Moreover, the nature of the insights you can derive as a Telco firm, and the scale on which this information can be provided by a Telecommunications company, both make Telecoms unique purveyors of Marketing insights for a variety of other businesses. How exactly can this be done?
Let’s talk some specifics.
Providing Marketing Guidance to Retailers and Food Chains
As a Telco provider, you can see how many of your mobile users are found in an urban area at a specific hour and on a particular day of the week. You can determine their financial standing, and, in case of a more intricate AI-enabled analysis, even, a number of their likes and dislikes. This information can be vital to those retail and food chains that are at sea about where exactly their new outlets should be set up for them to have enough customers.
Similarly, you can also sell this info to small business entrepreneurs, looking to set up pizza parlors, food stores, and other similar businesses.
Providing Guidance to City Authorities
As many urban areas become congested and are increasingly plagued by traffic jams, there is a pressing need for software systems that would allow better traffic management. Oftentimes, “better”, incidentally, means the ability to receive information in the online mode and respond fast.
As you will have, probably, guessed, this can all be done with the help of a mobile Telecom provider, covering the area. With this kind of assistance, it can be possible to predict and alleviate (or, even, preempt), a forthcoming congestion of people and/or vehicles.
Another possible use of AI could be the optimization of urban planning and public transportation. As a Telco provider, you can help city authorities locate public and administrative offices so, that this will relieve congestion and stagger heavy traffic.
You can also help optimize the routes of public transport.
Providing Guidance to Banks and Other Lenders
Unless prohibited by the Law, and, most probably, only with the written permission of your customer, it is possible to make Telecom data analytics part of a credit scoring process.
You can help a lender factor in such indicators, as, for example, the customer’s overall financial standing, the time periods during which the customer’s account has remained empty over the last year, or the existence of the bank’s defaulting customers among those, the customer communicates with on a regular basis.
Employing AI and Data Science to diversity your service offering can create tremendous opportunities for your Telecom company. Taking into account the number of brands from the different industries you can cooperate with simultaneously, the additional income avenues you can uncover may be more than worth the bother. We also expect this to be the case when it comes to one’s cooperation with banking institutions and other lenders, looking to improve their credit scoring accuracy.
The ability to support major urban traffic management initiatives can help you acquire a great reputation with the city and other authorities and establish your company as a socially responsible service provider with a favorable image in the public eye.
Providing Marketing Information to Airlines
Your AI and Data Analytics software can allow you to turn a profit by providing Marketing insights to airlines.
This can, actually, work several ways.
With the assistance of your Data Analytics providers and AI companies, you can help your airline clients identify those of their routes and flights, which are taken by the more affluent or the more finance-strapped parts of their clientele, so that they can adjust their pricing accordingly.
Identifying routes, frequently taken by a large number of the same passengers, can prompt an airline for which of their destinations more flights may need to be introduced.
Enabling Efficient Marketing Campaigns
Unless prohibited by the Law and when in sync with the legalities to be observed (for example, with the customer’s written consent only), you can also use your customer data to help retailers with their SMS campaigns.
For example, it could be much easier for a jewelry retailer to sell some of their luxury items to an audience that is in good financial standing according to your indicators, than just spend time, effort, and money on trying to market them randomly.
AI-enabled profitable opportunities in the Telecom industry are many, and the above examples illustrate just some of those, you can profit from with the help of AI applications and Data Analytics. All you need to do is approach a competent AI development company and make sure that your use of customer data is legal and in keeping with all the appropriate international regulations.
Disclaimer: The above article provides some generic information on how AI and Data Analytics can be used by Telecom operators in order to find some new revenue sources. However, as customer data is highly sensitive, it lies solely in your responsibility to make sure that all the appropriate laws and regulations are observed by you when you use it for this purpose.