Despite its proliferation across industry, artificial intelligence remains something of an enigma. How could it not? The notion of reshaping sectors in a way that doesn’t rely on human nature as an initial port of call is a lot to get your head around. Yet, the speed, accuracy, efficiency, and predictive benefits of AI have converted it from being a ‘nice to have’ option, to a ‘must have’ tool to futureproof business.
According to Gartner research back in 2019, the number of businesses adopting AI had grown by 270% over the previous four years. Looking ahead, Forbes estimates the AI market will grow by around $240 billion, to $266.92 billion, between 2019 and 2027. Both of these reference points have been accelerated or inflated more recently by a global pandemic that has put additional strain on enterprises; and encouraged them into new and innovative ways to achieve more growth, with less resource.
Most businesses will be able to resonate with the experience of tech innovators knocking on their doors over the past 12 months with promises of AI’s benefits, to fix their sudden challenges. And telecommunications as a sector is by no means impervious to this trend and the prospective lure of machine learning.
However, it’s fair to say a full connection is yet to
be made between the two sectors. Mobile Network
Operators (MNOs) and telecom tower companies
(TowerCos) up to this point have primarily invested
in forward-facing AI projects as they look to optimise
bandwidth and traffic allocations, or to leverage chatbots
for improved and automated customer support. Yet, for
most, that’s where the exploration has come to a halt.
Aside from early investments in maintenance prediction
software, the complex operation of managing thousands
of towers spread across large terrains and complicated
geographies has been relatively left behind by this
technological wave. It has left many struggling to deal
with rapidly increasing torrents of data, unmanageable
alert protocols, and a continued reliance on the reactive
and the manual, rather than the predictive and the
In this whitepaper, we look to unearth why a sector that
has been built on innovation and keeping ahead of the
curve, isn’t exploring the full potential of this crucial tool.
It’s not to say that AI is a silver bullet – rather it is a set
of smart, focussed systems that can augment the best
skills in the mobile tower industry, and that can offer a
sixth sense for future challenges to come.
Instead of asking, ‘why AI?’, it’s now time for the mobile
tower sector to ask: ‘why not AI?’
Forbes estimates the AI market will grow by around $240 billion, to $266.92 billion, between 2019 and 2027.
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