Telecom companies are expected to increase their spending on AI for automating network management to $20 billion by 2028, a new report from Juniper Research found. This would represent a 240 percent rise from estimated spending levels in 2024 of $6 billion.
The researchers predict the investment growth will be necessary as telcos expand 5G networks globally and develop future 6G networks. The AI software will play a vital role in optimising network performance and security; the two most critical areas expected to account for over 50 percent of operator spending on AI by 2028.
As enterprises make increasing use of cellular connectivity for smart factories, self-driving vehicles, and other bandwidth-intensive applications, the report argues AI orchestration will be essential for telcos to maximise efficiency, reduce costs, and provide the best quality of service.
Automating functions like real-time network analysis and rapid adjustments to changing demands can minimise expenses tied to network operations and provisioning.
“As operators compete on the quality of their networks, AI will be essential to maximising the value of using a cellular network for connectivity,” said Frederick Savage, author of the report.
“High-spending users will gravitate to those networks that can provide the best service conditions.”
Telcos that fail to incorporate AI may ultimately struggle to keep pace with customer demands for performance and security.
A full copy of the report can be found here (paywall)
See also: The UK is outpacing the US for AI hiring
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