Broadband operators to spend $50 bn on big data and machine learning

Mobile broadband operators will be spending more than $50 billion through 2021 on big data and machine learning analytics as they transform into digital service providers, said ABI Research.

Telecom network and software majors Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and ZTE will benefit from this huge spend on big data and analytics. Intel and Qualcomm will also gain.

Machine learning technologies will lead telecom network operators to change how they manage the telecom business, according to ABI Research report.

Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and ZTE are delivering big data and machine learning solutions oriented toward network operations. Hadoop/NoSQL startups like Argyle Data, and chip vendors, led by Intel and Qualcomm, are delivering solutions for telecom operators.

“Telecom network operators must master and internalize these technologies and not rely solely on their vendors’ expertise. Executives that overlook big data and machine learning risk irrelevance,” said Joe Hoffman, managing director and vice president at ABI Research.

Machine learning can deliver benefits across operators’ telecom operations with financially-oriented applications, including fraud mitigation and revenue assurance. Legacy analytics cannot keep pace with the criminal element, but machine learning excels at spotting trending anomalies, said ABI Research.

Predictive machine learning applications for network performance optimization and real-time management will introduce more automation and efficient resource utilization. Sales, marketing, and customer experience teams will benefit as machine learning helps to innovate and reengineer business processes.

Telecom big data solutions include the commercial IT kit; the open source, Java-based Hadoop ecosystem, SQL/NoSQL data management, and orchestration platforms. Spending on this infrastructure will exceed $7 billion in 2021.

The biggest growth and most value come from using predictive analytics to improve telecom business performance, with machine-learning-based predictive analytics to grow at nearly 50 percent CAGR and reach $12 billion through 2021.

ABI Research sees the convergence of IT and telecom, virtualization with software-defined networking, or SDN, and network function virtualization, or NFV, the adoption of artificial intelligence machine learning, and the ubiquitous coverage of all-IP 4G and 5G networks.

ABI Research’s Hoffman said the rise of commercial cloud infrastructure and machine learning services will enable mobile operator to become a big data company.