Automation, AI and data analytics are driving telco strategy
STL Partners has been at the forefront of identifying network and service automation opportunities for telcos since 2016. Our report Network AI: The state of the art outlined the telco automation journey as a continuum of four stages: from business intelligence, to fixed-policy and ML-supported (or augmented intelligence) automation, and finally to fully autonomous systems. In Telcos and AI: What it will take to create an AI-driven telecoms industry, we discussed the state of AI in the telecoms industry and took a deep dive into the specific technologies available.
The telecoms industry can no longer rely on manual operations. Automation is a necessity for operators to manage business and technological complexities in creating new digital services and B2B2X business models. Operators are expected to provision best-in-class connectivity services, while managing underlying network complexities with quality, resiliency, and speed.
In this report, we focus specifically on automation within network and service operations (See image below). While rules-based automation has been around for decades and is well embedded into network processes, AI is at a more nascent stage where most implementations are in small pockets or proofs of concept (POC). For the purpose of this report, we have regarded “automation” as an umbrella term encapsulating rules-based automation and AI and ML assisted automation.