A report commissioned by kit vendor Nokia claims operators are unable to effectively deploy AI ‘because they are using legacy systems with proprietary interfaces.’

Andrew Wooden

August 17, 2023

2 Min Read
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A report commissioned by kit vendor Nokia claims operators are unable to effectively deploy AI ‘because they are using legacy systems with proprietary interfaces.’

The report – conducted by Analysys Mason and based on responses from 84 operators – claims that operators cannot access high-quality data sets due to legacy systems with proprietary interfaces, and that ‘this will restrict how quickly they can integrate AI into their networks.’

Half of ‘Tier-1 CSPs’ (CSPs being another name for operators) ranked data collection as the most challenging stage of implementing AI, and only 6% of respondents believed they are at the ‘most-advanced level of automation’. It also calls this level of telco AI nirvana ‘zero-touch automation’, which uses AI and machine learning algorithms to manage network operations.

87% of those surveyed have started to implement AI into their network operations, either as proof of concepts or properly into production, though the report claims the high-quality data issue is also impacting operators’ ability to retain AI talent.

The overall advice from the report is that operators ‘should evaluate their telco AI implementation strategies and develop a clear roadmap for AI implementation to overcome their data challenge and other impediments, such as an inability to scale AI use case deployments.’

“CSPs must transition to more-autonomous operations if they are to manage networks more efficiently and deliver on their main business priorities,” said Adaora Okeleke, Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason. “But as this research demonstrates, accessing high-quality data remains a critical obstacle to deploying telco AI within their networks. They need to really examine their AI implementation strategies to work around this data quality issue.”

Andrew Burrell, Head of Business Applications Marketing, Cloud and Network Services at Nokia added: “AI has a crucial role in driving step changes in network performance, including cutting carbon footprints. CSPs are aware of the challenges of more deeply embedding AI into their operations and, as this research points out, the steps they can take to positively alter that situation, including building the right ecosystem of vendor partners with the right skillsets that can better cater to their network needs.”

The fact Nokia is in the business of selling solutions to the problems described isn’t irrelevant to its motivations for producing some comms on the subject, of course. But all press releases are there to sell something, directly or indirectly, so we can’t single them out on that front.


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About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins Telecoms.com on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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