Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where telecommunications networks are self-healing, customer service is immediate and hyper-personalised and fraud is detected and combatted in real-time?
Well, thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), this dream is fast becoming a reality…
So, what are some of the AI trends taking the telco industry by storm — and how can telecoms overcome the challenges of this transformative technology?
1. Self-optimising networks
The rumours are true: AI-driven self-optimising networks (SON) are the next big thing in the telecom industry.
A self-optimising network aims to monitor data in real-time to identify and rectify potential faults before they occur. Thanks to AI, the SON then delivers an actionable, automated insight.
With this model, self-optimising networks can adapt to changing conditions, automate the network design process through deep learning and optimise network performance in real-time.
For telcos that want to remain competitive, this growing trend can provide their customers with superior services, enhance customer experience and keep their edge in the market.
2. Personalised customer service
AI chatbots have become popular for performing tedious, manual tasks that bog down agents in the telco industry.
From scheduling to account checks and top-ups, these chatbots provide a way for customers to carry out a variety of service operations — without the need for a live agent. In fact, Tidio says 62% of consumers would prefer to use a customer service bot rather than wait for human agents to answer their requests.
And since AI chatbots are generally built with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, which are sources of customer data, these solutions can help telecom companies understand customer preferences…
Using cloud call centre software, businesses can link all their operations through an online network, which allows the chatbot to access account insights like the customer’s interests, previous purchases and buying behaviours.
With this handy information, chatbots can pitch and upsell the most relevant products and services to suit the customer’s needs.
Does the customer regularly exceed their data plan? Well, the chatbot can suggest a better plan — or even walk them through the process of upgrading their plan and recording it on the system.
3. Fraud detection and prevention
Fraud has become a significant challenge for the telco industry. Whilst only 17% of UK fraud cases originated in telecommunications in the first half of 2023, high-value cases like impersonation fraud meant the sector accounted for a whopping 45% of total losses.
Luckily, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities are helping telecom companies detect and prevent fraud in real-time — minimising damage and financial losses and keeping customer data safe.
Invosys Call Shield, for instance, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to extract and analyse the metadata of every single phone call, profiling it and establishing whether it has all the typical features of a fraudulent call or not.
Thanks to Call Shield’s AI algorithm, it’s constantly learning from the dodgy calls it identifies, and machine learning allows it to pick up on any changes in fraud patterns immediately, ensuring criminals are blocked at every instance.
With intelligent solutions like Call Shield in their back pocket, telcos can stay one step ahead of fraud threats and create a secure environment for their valued customers.
Overcoming AI challenges within the telco industry
Despite AI’s many advantages, like any emerging technology, there are some challenges to overcome in its adoption — including bridging the AI skills gaps.
For many telcos, advances in AI are being slowed by a shortage of workers with the necessary skills and experience in areas such as deep learning and natural language processing. Since the talent pool is limited and demand is so high, companies may want to consider starting with strategies that have lower entry barriers — like virtual assistants for customer service.
Eventually, training and upskilling employees in AI and ML can help ensure that every telco has the skills and knowledge needed to use and manage these technologies effectively.
Then there’s the obvious AI obstacle: data security.
Navigating data security and privacy concerns is crucial for telecom companies. To ensure the responsible and ethical use of artificial intelligence within their offerings, telcos should invest in data security solutions like encryption, authentication and access control to protect their data infrastructure.
Plus, when establishing a foundation for the successful integration of AI technologies and applications, prioritising data governance solutions is crucial. Keeping on the right side of regulatory requirements and avoiding dicey privacy risks can only be a good idea, right?
Once telcos can overcome these hurdles, they’ll be in the best position to thrive in an AI-driven landscape — with savvy solutions that keep their customers better connected!
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