In the race towards AI development, the telecoms industry will shift AI resources to generative AI (GenAI) in 2024, according to GlobalData analysts Andy Hicks and Rahul Gupta.

During 2023, telecom operators realised that their usual business model is becoming a one-way street. This will prompt a greater emphasis on GenAI throughout 2024 with many telcos integrating it into their fundamental operations and customer engagements. 

Customer expectation has meant that GenAI will soon be a standard requirement for customers rather than an add-on. 

“Innovation and fundamental organisation changes are required for telcos to survive and thrive in the future ICT ecosystem dominated by cloud service providers,” according to Gupta and Hicks.

GlobalData also forecasts that customised services and enhanced experiences will both become a priority for telcos, both of which can be aided by the use of GenAI. 

GenAI can create a faster and more personalised customer relationship management service that provides proactive support. The telcos that integrate GenAI will have a significant competitive advantage in 2024, forecasts GlobalData. 

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AI may also help telcos execute their 5G monetisation strategy. 

Modernising their business support systems and integrating AI can help telcos unlock real-time data analysis, creating valuable insights from their swathes of data at a faster pace than before. 

Real-time data analysis can help telcos personalise offers to customers and optimise pricing models for 5G services. 

AI is currently transforming an array of businesses outside of telecoms and the global AI market is set to be worth a total $909bn by 2030 globally according to GlobalData. 

In a survey conducted by GlobalData in Q4 of 2023, around 54% of businesses answered that AI had already begun to tangibly disrupt their industry, with a further 56% of respondents believing that AI would live up to all of its promises. 

GenAI is also predicted to be the fastest growing segment of AI according to GlobalData’s research, with revenues expected to grow from $1.8bn to $33bn between 2022 and 2027.  

GlobalData’s predictions are echoed by digital marketing lead at Qvantel, Martin Morgan, who stated that he was beginning to see the impact of AI in telecoms and believed he would continue to see this disruption throughout 2024.

However, Morgan warned that although GenAI can be a “quick win” for customer services, he did give a realistic perspective on what customers want out of their service.

“Generally, people prefer speaking to humans when they need support, so it’s not a case of GenAI replacing the call agent, but acting as co-pilot,” Morgan explained, “providing the agent with the information required to assist their customers, increasing first call resolution and call throughput that is clearly needed in 2024 and beyond.”