Mobile operator spending on AI solutions to cross $15 bn

Total mobile operator spending on artificial intelligence (AI) solutions will cross $15 billion by 2024 as against $3 billion in 2020, according to Juniper Research.
Ericsson LTE network supplierReport from IDC indicates that worldwide spending on AI by enterprises including global telecom operators will be reaching $97.9 billion in 2023 from $37.5 billion in 2019. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2018-2023 forecast period will be 28.4 percent.

David Schubmehl, research director, Cognitive/Artificial Intelligence Systems at IDC, said that the use of AI and machine learning (ML) is happening in a range of solutions and applications from ERP and manufacturing software to content management, collaboration, and user productivity.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning are top of mind for most organizations today, and IDC expects that AI will be the disrupting influence changing entire industries over the next decade,” David Schubmehl said.

Mobile 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, according to Juniper Research.

Mobile operators will make investment in AI to unify internal data resources and encourage cross-functional insight sharing into network efficiencies to maximise the benefits of collaboration across internal teams.

Decision makers are grappling with the question of how to effectively proceed with their AI journey. IDC sees higher than average five-year annual compounded growth in government, media, telecommunications, and personal and consumer services, Marianne D’Aquila, research manager, IDC Customer Insights & Analysis, said in a report in Sept 2019.

Mobile operators in developed regions, such as North America and Europe, would account for over 40 percent of AI spend by 2024, despite only accounting for less than 20 percent of global subscribers.

Growing demand for operational efficiencies will drive operators in these regions to increase their overall investment into AI over the next 4 years.

AI spend by mobile operators in emerging markets will exceed $5 billion by 2024, rising from $900 million in 2020.

Mobile operators’ AI spending in Indian Subcontinent and Africa & Middle East will have the highest growth, with operator spend in both regions forecast to grow over 550 percent over the next 4 years. Operators in these regions will initially invest in AI-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions that yield immediate benefits.