A new study from Juniper Research has found that total operator spend on AI solutions will exceed $15 billion by 2024; rising from $3 billion in 2020. The researcher pointed to network optimisation and fraud mitigation solutions as the most highly sought-after AI‑based services over the next 4 years.
AI-based solutions automate network functionalities including routing, traffic management and predictive maintenance solutions.
The Juniper Research study, AI Strategies for Network Operators: Key Use Cases & Monetisation Models 2020-2024, forecasts that operators in developed regions, including North America and Europe, account for over 40% of artificial intelligence (AI) spend by 2024, despite only accounting for less than 20% of global subscribers.
It predicts that growing demand for operational efficiencies will drive operators in these regions to increase their overall investment into AI over the next 4 years.
The research urges operators to embrace a holistic approach to AI implementation across service operations, rather than applying separate AI strategies to individual use cases. It suggests network operators leverage AI to unify internal data resources and encourage cross-functional insight sharing into network efficiencies to maximise the benefits of collaboration across internal teams.
Emerging markets opportunity
The research predicts that AI spend by Emerging Markets operators will exceed $5 billion by 2024, rising from only $900 million in 2020. It found that this growth will be driven largely by operators exploring early use cases of AI before expanding the presence of AI in their networks to include more comprehensive services.
The report forecasts that Indian Subcontinent will experience the highest growth in spend on AI services, with operator spend forecast to grow over 550% over the next 4 years. It anticipates that operators here will initially invest in AI-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions that yield immediate benefits.