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4 ways CSPs can improve 5G services with AI and analytics

Malla Poikela, Nokia.
(Image credit: Nokia)

The promise of 5G is huge: The technology allows communications service providers (CSPs) to offer super-fast, high throughput mobile connectivity bundles and new types of digital services, like fixed wireless access. The result of which enables enterprises to tap into these ecosystems and design new services for their customers, such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), ultra-low latency multi-player gaming, robotized smart factories, and autonomous fleet management. 

However, with so many new capabilities and opportunities for monetization comes a more convoluted network that demands more from operations teams to manage efficiently, and humans are at the limit of what can be done manually. A good example is depicted in Appledore’s study, which showcases how virtualization will generate a 100-fold increase in actions within the network.

"With customers ultimately in the driver’s seat, there is pressure on CSPs to provide exceptional services and customer support."

Malla Poikela, Nokia.

In this kind of complex environment, CSPs need to ensure that their customers’ personalized experience is not jeopardized. And, with customers ultimately in the driver’s seat, there is pressure on CSPs to provide exceptional services and customer support. The bar has been set high by all customers who are looking to enjoy new services with excellent connectivity – when they want it, where they want it. 

AI and business outcomes

According to IDC, there is a direct correlation between Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption and superior business outcomes. For example, automating business processes and equipping service provider personnel with real-time actionable insights, root causes, anomalies and predictions across departments and business functions guarantees tangible results. Further, by utilizing cognitive functions to prioritize actions based on impact to the customer and effectiveness of the employee, higher Net Promoter Scores can be achieved and cost efficiency can be improved.

Utilizing AI and analytical functions with 5G helps CSPs and operators to work more efficiently and effectively. With so much complexity within 5G networks, identifying insights from data becomes critical for organizational success. Cognitive analytics from data provide various teams across business functions with ways to solve for the problems that they face in everyday operations and business. Here are a few examples of how analytics make a difference:

1. 5G Engineering and Planning

For CSPs to guarantee a successful 5G roll-out that encompass sustainable networks that provide efficient total cost of ownership (TCO), multi-dimensional network analytics must reveal problematic areas, including geographical locations, service degradations in things like video quality, violations in contracted service level agreements (SLAs) and performance metrics of various device types (e.g. smartphones, IoT). It is real-time, cognitive insights like these that enable engineering to prioritize workflow of problem resolutions, based on customer impact and value (e.g. premium or enterprise customers).

2. Network Operations and Customer Care

Analytics come in (extremely) handy when aggregating for holistic persona-driven experiences across fixed and mobile networks like 5G. Being able to break down customer service interactions, charging transactions, and the calibration of survey results, such as a Net Promoter Score, enables CSPs to determine actionable insights to enhance customer experience and optimize monetization. By referencing these insights, CSPs can slice and dice data across a multitude of dimensions like geographical locations, over-the-top (OTT) apps such as video, and technologies like 5G.

CSPs can also use the analytic data to promote operations and customer care by listing the issues and action recommendations for first adopters and high value segments. This type of proactive resolution to issues fast-tracks response time for customers and ensures that they are met with superior service.

"Individual Subscriber Analytics (ISA) allow operations and customer care teams to access real-time diagnoses of each individual subscriber’s 5G transactions."

Malla Poikela, Nokia.

To up the ante, Individual Subscriber Analytics (ISA) allow operations and customer care teams to access real-time diagnoses of each individual subscriber’s 5G transactions. With this information, teams can help customers troubleshoot the problem quickly. In addition, individual subscriber analytics enable CSPs to study their subscriber's 5G usage and failure trends.

In the case of fixed wireless access, analytics can help CSPs detect issues like a weak link between 5G outdoor receivers and indoor Wi-Fi routers or a poor 5G signal, and then notifies the end user automatically via a self-care application to improve connection, check cabling or to reposition equipment. Analytics can also trigger automated firmware or software upgrades on-demand when detecting 5G modem device health issues like high memory utilization or increased CPU load. 

3. Monetization, Marketing and Sales

Automated Machine Learning (ML)-driven algorithms can be used to improve the hit rate of marketing campaigns and increase awareness of select promotions by identifying the most likely customer segments to adopt a 5G service. Further, to monetize 5G offerings and increase sales, insights from cognitive analytics enable CSPs to approach a more targeted base of potential customers at the right time with the most suitable 5G offering, and when the probability to accept an offer is at its peak.

4. Supercharging CSP Network Management

IDC states that, “Customer expectations over the past 10 years have grown more sophisticated as network connectivity is now considered to be as vital as air, water, electricity, and even food.” Through digital insights derived from AI, CSPs are capable of providing an enhanced employee experience because analytic insights enable their business and management teams to oversee their customers’ experience with unprecedented details and depth. 

"Now, the ‘new normal’ of remote working, learning, socially interacting has led us to transform the way that we all live."

Malla Poikela, Nokia.

 The value of connectivity within our world has been reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the ‘new normal’ of remote working, learning, socially interacting has led us to transform the way that we all live, work and play, while spurring the telecom industry to grow faster and become more innovative than ever before.

As virtual interactions are an everyday occurrence, CSPs need to focus on providing superior customer experiences, service and network quality in the 5G era – and utilize cognitive analytics as the foundation to achieving these goals. Analytics and AI have never been so crucial for business success.

Malla Poikela is head of marketing, intelligence and operations at Nokia. Poikela oversees Nokia Software’s core strategic messaging around intelligence and operations portfolios. These include analytics/AI, the business and network-driven insights offering, service fulfillment and assurance, and end to end service orchestration.