As 5G rollouts start to become real and networks are modernizing at pace, large-scale transformation brings with it a lot more data and, with that, additional complexities. So, what’s new? When it comes to rolling out a 5G core, we are looking at a complete re-architecting of how networks are operated and how services are provisioned from the bottom up. 5G represents a foundational reimagining of the entire telco business. This brings with it a great deal of uncertainty as well as a great deal of opportunity. Crucially, operators will need to adapt their business practices to embed new efficiencies through AI and automation to capitalize on this investment and secure market share in 5G.
In March 2021, STL surveyed a focus group of customers to help us better understand the motivating factors behind key strategic investment decisions. The feedback pointed to a growing drive to ensure lean and efficient operational margins as the top reason for investing in automation. The need to reduce operating costs around service provision is key to stabilizing the bottom line as operators continue to assess new revenue opportunities in the 5G ecosystem. According to ABI Research, less than 2% of data generated is stored. Within that, less than 10% is analyzed and applied. In other words, currently 98% of data produced is not being used. In this way, both valuable insights and cost saving opportunities are being unduly dismissed time and again.
Real world value
Amdocs has plenty of experience successfully deploying AI and automation through the ‘NetOps/AIOps’ solution, which has delivered some significant and exciting results for customers. For example, a large European operator leveraged the automated operations platform and realized a total of 454 improvements / €8.04m in savings utilizing AI management for their network operations. These improvements related to processes, proactive monitoring, DevOps, operational improvements, and functional solution improvements. The key benefits:
- TCO: Reduced call center costs and business resource costs by handling 22,000 abandoned requests from the backend and 2600 orders left in the system unattended. Reduced interest cost by early revenue realization by reducing invoice time. Reduced requirement for manual interventions.
- Revenue Optimization: Recovered stuck records from 3rd party systems saving €5.2m. Quarterly revenue optimization of €64k from configured processes. Re-rating the CDRS by tickle feeding to avoid load. 180 million CDRs rerated without any overload on the system.
- Customer Experience: Reduced call handling cost and improved customer experience by proactive handling of stuck orders. This led to 19% of incidents prevention in the downstream systems. The proactive monitoring and automation improvements generated 300+ self-healing.
5G represents a lot of uncertainty today as operators assess their next move and how to translate their current investments into hard value for the business. The underlying truth is that there will be a lot of trial and error over the coming few years as to what use cases for what verticals create tangible wins. The one thing that is certain is that all these use case permutations will require some level of automation to succeed. AI is no longer something that lives in labs played with as part of ‘innovation incubator’ projects, it is woven into the very fabric of the 5G network. Without AI and automation, 5G networks are limited in their potential and the value they can create. Let’s turn it up to 11.