Top 4 Data + AI Predictions for Telecommunications in 2024

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The sheer breadth of data that telecommunications providers collect day-to-day is a huge advantage for the industry. Yet, many providers have been slower to adapt to a data-driven, hyperconnected world even as their services — including streaming, mobile payments and applications such as video conferencing — have driven innovation in nearly every other industry. 

The speed with which generative AI will change how we work, live, communicate and entertain ourselves is nearly unfathomable. Our internal experts believe that having a robust data strategy will be a major determinant of business success. Over the next year, they anticipate generative AI will transform the industry by improving operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and more. 

To learn more about the impact AI and other developments are expected to have on telecommunications this year, read the new report, Telecom Data + AI Predictions 2024, for full insights from Snowflake industry and technology experts. 

Here’s a quick look at their top four industry predictions for 2024:

1. Data-for-all will drive operational advancements

Telecommunications providers have already turned to new technologies to help improve operational efficiencies. In the coming year, telecoms will focus on solving for operational efficiency with the data they already have at their fingertips by utilizing modern data platforms. 

Improving customer experience (CX) was the top transformation initiative for more than half of telecommunications decision-makers and influencers last year, although the telecom industry continues to rank at the bottom of CX rankings. 

In the next 24 to 36 months, service providers are expected to begin using network data to self-optimize for the customer, according to Phil Kippen, Snowflake’s Head of Industry, Telecommunications. 

Telecom providers will also use data to mitigate supply chain issues. Customer complaints, reorder logs and more can be evaluated for better inventory management. The data that telecom providers already have at their disposal will be realized as part of the solution. Providers will use data to ensure customer equipment such as routers, modems, VoIP adapters and satellites arrive on time for installment. Equipment can be pre-staged to reach the locations faster than normal. According to Kippen, “The faster you can fulfill a service, the faster you collect revenue.”

2. Providers will accelerate cloud migration and adopt data management platforms

Telecom providers have been slow to monetize data despite the vast amounts of data they collect and its potential value. Concerns with data privacy compliance and evolving regulations, siloed data, and a lack of data analytics expertise are some of the reasons for this.

Telecoms are historically hesitant to monetize their data, but they will adapt. According to Jennifer Belissent, Snowflake’s Principal Data Strategist, “They need regional trends, industry benchmarks, etc. They need to understand the context in which they are doing business to discover what opportunities are out there.”

Telecom providers will need to continue to seek out third-party data sets to help further refine large language models (LLMs) trained on their internal data. This also presents the opportunity for telecoms to create new revenue streams by selling their own data, with a priority on properly managing privacy and governance. 

“The biggest competitive advantages seem daunting at first, but now is the time to invest and get out there on marketplaces.”  

Phil Kippen, Snowflake’s Head of Industry, Telecommunications

3. Generative AI will transform the industry

AI has been used for years to help people work with large amounts of data. Machine learning is used in security algorithms to detect anomalies, and recommendation engines tailor offers for the next thing you should buy, watch or listen to. 

With these new generative AI-driven developments, there is tremendous possibility for AI-enabled breakthroughs. LLM-powered translation tools can make near-instant, highly accurate translations possible. AI models can scan medical and pharmaceutical data for new treatments and lead to new medical discoveries.

When it comes to telecommunications, gen AI is here to make CX much better. LLMs will improve customer self-service and efficiency by adding context, and often by reducing the need for human intervention. Gen AI is already making a difference for telecommunications providers’ support teams, from AI-powered chatbots to AI-enhanced knowledge bases for support representatives. We can expect to see even more intuitive problem-solving powered by gen AI in the future.

4. During this period of intense AI-driven transformation, a robust data strategy will be a major determinant of business success

Companies have been compelled to develop a comprehensive and forward-looking data strategy for years. The generative AI era does not call for a fundamental shift to that, but it calls for an acceleration of the trend toward breaking down silos and opening access to data sources wherever they might be in the organization. 

Any model is only as good as the data it is trained on, and LLMs are no exception. To be increasingly effective, providers will need to not only leverage a single company’s data but also use or collaborate on data across the entire telecommunications ecosystem. This means that businesses across the telecom landscape will need to supercharge their data strategy. 

Those that have already developed a forward-thinking, comprehensive data plan are already in a strong place. The change is to the level of importance of your data strategy and the speed with which you need to execute and invest in it. There’s a massive opportunity for telecom organizations ready to adopt a unified data strategy.

Ready for a deeper dive? Get the full report, Telecom Data + AI Predictions 2024.