How is AI used in the telecoms industry to improve its services?
As artificial intelligence continues to develop, more and more industries are beginning to realise the future benefits of this technology. 2019 is set to be another huge year for networks and artificial intelligence, and the telecoms industry is investing heavily in these AI technologies to improve their telecoms services.
After all, it’s an unfortunate truth that the telecoms industry received the 2nd most complains in 2018 just behind retail; a reflection on the growing pressures placed onto internet and mobile providers to deliver a near-perfect service, across the entire UK. However, AI technology is revolutionising the way telecoms businesses operate.
AI chips in smartphones and telephone systems is one of the most recent strides in telecoms technology. The Apple iPhone X’s A11 Bionic chip and Huawei’s Kiri 970 chip contain a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which takes pressure off the Central Processing Unit (CPU) by freeing it up to perform other tasks, helping the phone to run faster. AI chips process machine learning tasks, such as image recognition.
Huawei says its NPU can recognise 2,000 images every second. Apple’s AI chip focuses on face and voice recognition, recording ‘Animojis’ and working out what you’re trying to frame when taking a photo; it can handle an incredible 600 billion operations per second. It’s clear that as AI becomes a bigger part of our lives, we’ll see competitor smartphones following in the footsteps of the main players, and adding their own AI chips into their latest devices.
Improving Networks With AI
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has established a group to investigate how AI could be used to improve the way that networks operate. Currently, it is focusing on autonomous, self-managing networks, which would be able to automatically adjust services based on several factors, from environmental conditions, to user requirements and business goals. This Unified Communications system would be able to ‘learn’ from experience, allowing it to configure networks to ensure demands are met, which will ultimately improve network use and reduce costs.
It’s unclear how far away such technology is from being implemented in the real world, but it could revolutionise the way that services like broadband and phone networks are delivered. The system could operate without human intervention, and would always ensure it is keeping up with consumer demand.
Smarter Support And Happier Customers
One area of the telecoms industry in which AI is already making a huge impact is customer service. Broadband, mobile and landline providers are inundated with customer queries, and it’s important to ensure that every customer feels valued, and can get their issue or query sorted with minimal wait times.
Vodafone’s TOBi was the first live chatbot in UK telecoms, and it made a big difference to the way the company’s customer service team operates. The chatbot currently resolves more than 70% of customer queries without human intervention, and it is constantly learning, so it can deliver a better service. Of course, an AI can’t fix every customer query, which is why TOBi is programmed to recognise when a real human is required and seamlessly hand the customer to an operator.
Eventually, Vodafone plans to fully integrate TOBi into its systems, which will allow the majority of web chat conversations to be automated, freeing up human employees to carry out tasks an AI is currently incapable of resolving.
Telefonica, the parent company of O2, is taking a different direction with AI. Last year, it announced the creation of Aura, a voice recognition software which can assist customers over the phone, rather than over the internet. Set to launch next year, Telefonica says Aura will help the company to better understand their customers, boosting loyalty and trust.
Total Access Communication, Thailand’s third largest mobile phone provider, is also using AI to help improve its customer service. AI-powered chatbots are currently being tested, and calls are being analysed using big data analytics, so that the company can understand the queries most commonly made by customers.
Bad press may have plagued telecoms businesses in the past, but it’s clear the industry is investing big in technology that ensures a better service and product for all.
Teleconnect Service Ltd are constantly investing in the latest telecoms technology, including AI and the cloud. As one of the first LG providers in the UK, over 30 years ago, our experience and technical expertise is second to none. Want to find out how we could improve your business? Contact us today!
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