The authoritative news source for communications regulation

Most Carriers Taking a Cautious Approach on AI

Generative and predictive AI have experienced a “huge surge” in interest and discussion, but telecom carriers are mostly taking a cautious approach, recognizing the need for “guardrails” and a phased transition, Ruth Brown, Heavy Reading principal analyst-mobile networks and 5G,…

Start A Trial
said during an Informa Tech webinar Thursday. For example, some carrier executives question whether machines can replace humans in making key decisions, she said. AI-assisted analytics will help providers “pinpoint and rectify faults and security” and assist in “scaling resources” to meet demand, she said. “Understanding this transition is going to be really important … along with ethics around using AI,” she said. For Terje Jensen, senior vice president-network and cloud technology strategy at Norway-based provider Telenor, whether providers will use AI is no longer a debate. Instead, the question is how they will “master” it in a way that’s responsible. Carriers offer “critical infrastructure” and must protect the data and privacy of their customers, he said: “We have to take care on that part.” Providers need to “address the competency and understanding” of staff responsible for AI, he said. For years, Telenor automated many of its operations and is "gradually introducing more AI,” bringing operations “to the next level,” he said. This is a “rather fundamental shift” in how carriers operate, he said. Jensen also said Telenor recognizes the importance of industry standards and collaboration with customers and suppliers. As networks become increasingly complex, operators must manage them with the same staff size, which is “becoming more and more difficult,” said David Allabaugh, Fujitsu software solutions architect. “Full autonomy is a fairly aggressive goal -- we see this as a journey and not a near-term destination,” he said.