A recent survey conducted by NVIDIA in its first ‘State of AI in Telecommunications’ survey comprised of questions covering a range of AI topics, infrastructure spending, top use cases, biggest challenges and deployment models.
Based on more than 400 telecommunications industry professionals from around the world the survey respondents included C-suite leaders, managers, developers and IT architects from mobile telecoms, fixed and cable companies and was conducted over eight weeks between mid-November 2022 and mid-January 2023.
The results of the NVIDIA survey reveal optimism for AI utilization despite underinvesting in AI overall:
* Industry players (73%) see AI as a tool to grow revenue, improve operations and sustainability, or boost customer retention.
* 93% of those responding to questions about undertaking AI projects at their own companies appear to be substantially underinvesting in AI as a percentage of annual capital spending.
* 50% of respondents reported spending less than $1 million last year on AI projects; a year earlier, 60% of respondents said they spent less than $1 million on AI. Just 3% of respondents spent over $50 million on AI in 2022.
* Some 44% of respondents reported an inability to adequately quantify return on investment, 34% cited an insufficient number of data scientists and 33% of respondents also citing a lack of budget for AI projects as valid reasons for skeptical AI spending.
AI engagement survey results were mixed:
* 95% of telecommunications industry respondents said they were engaged with AI.
* 34% of respondents reported using AI for more than six months.
* 23% said they’re still learning about the different options for AI.
* 18% reported being in a trial or pilot phase of an AI project.
* 73% of respondents reported that implementation of AI had led to increased revenue in the last year, with 17% noting revenue gains of more than 10% in specific parts of the business.
* 80% of respondents reported that their implementation of AI led to reduced annual costs in the last year, with 15% noting that this cost reduction is above 10% — again, in specific parts of their business.
The telecommunications industry will continue to focus on cost reduction, revenue increase, customer experience enhancement and creating operational efficiencies as key priorities.
AI-enabled solutions for network operations, cell sites planning, truck-routing optimization and machine learning data analytics as well as recommendation engines, virtual assistants and digital avatars are also viable for the industry since it supports 5 billion customer end points, and is expected to constantly deliver above 99% reliability.