Creating Service Provider Revenues in the 5G Era

By: Kevin Riley

Service providers are primed and ready to capitalize on new 5G opportunities that include everything from enhanced mobile broadband to the Internet of Things (IoT), the Industrial Internet of Things, smart buildings, smart cities, smart cars and more. As of this writing, Ookla’s real-time 5G map lists more than 100 5G operators around the world boasting more than 7,100 deployments.

Delivering new 5G services has implications across a wide “spectrum” of the operators’ network architectures and ecosystems, ranging from the networks’ core to the edge with multi-access edge computing (MEC), distributed cloud, network slicing and the interworking of legacy systems. And while we are still only at the dawn of the 5G era, smart service providers are already gearing up for a new phase of revenue generation.

The Secret Sauce: Analytics with AI and Machine Learning

Of course, service providers are seeking to generate more revenue and profit with 5G. One obvious way to enrich and monetize service provider networks is through the power of analytics. However, existing analytics tools are not robust enough to support the ongoing changes that 5G will bring within business and communications networks. Communications service providers (CSPs) must therefore seek new ways to improve their use of data analytics to achieve the expected benefits from 5G applications. This can be realized through the adoption of big data analytics with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve everything from profitability to operations, performance, resiliency, security and scalability.

In addition to monetizing the network and creating revenue opportunities with new 5G use cases, big data analytics offers service providers a number of benefits ranging from immediately improving network efficiency and security to dramatically improving the user experience.

The bottom line is that combining 5G services with big data analytics, AI, and ML can help improve almost every facet of the service provider’s business, including monetization, business and network operations, network and subscriber management, quality of experience and threat detection and mitigation.

Let’s take a closer look at how AI and ML improves these processes below.

Improved Consumer Experience

5G will usher in a truly elastic, multi-tenant network model in a pure software environment. Analytics will be essential to help monitor, allocate and assure service delivery in this new world. By better understanding network behavior, service providers can significantly enhance the user experience and, in turn, better serve their subscribers. Having the ability to substantially reduce the number of incoming complaints and time to resolution while more quickly resolving the issues that do come in is a huge competitive differentiator and a great customer retention tool.

Knowing subscribers and their usage patterns and having insights on individual customer experiences based on an extensive set of key performance indicators is invaluable to service providers. Analytics enable service providers to model different behaviors, trends and subscriber usage patterns. With this information, CSPs can create customized pricing and usage plans that truly meet the customer’s needs and ultimately curate a more personalized experience for the user. Advanced AI and ML analytics can also help service providers better understand how to target and secure premium and high-value customers with customized packages that will be most attractive to them.

Furthermore, the customer support experience is being re-architected with AI technology. Advanced chatbots help optimize the customer front-end support interface by integrating AI into automated "conversational solutions.” These same AI algorithms also run in parallel to agent-customer conversations to pull relevant data from corporate knowledge databases, expediting issue triage and information gathering.


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