Global Telecom Providers Lag in Use of Applied AI and ML: Survey

According to the survey, a large majority of respondents (81 per cent) are using or planning to use analytics in marketing and advertising campaigns

Telecommunications providers across the world are lagging in their use of predictive models, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), according to a latest survey by FICO, a leading analytics company and TM Forum research.

“However, communications service providers (CSPs) are increasingly identifying the need to become more data-driven to improve their decision-making and profitability,” the survey says.

According to the survey, a large majority of respondents (81 per cent) are using or planning to use analytics in marketing and advertising campaigns.

Reactive and rules-based approach

On the other hand, 70 per cent of respondents said that they are still using a reactive and rules-based approach to fraud, while just over a quarter said they are using ML and predictive models.

The interesting finding from the is that text is the dominant channel of communication. Nearly 94 per cent respondents said they communicate with their customers through text approach. However, just 20 per cent use personalised text for late payment communications.

Commenting on the survey findings, Mark Newman, Chief Analyst at TM Forum, said, “With CSPs under pressure to increase profitability, they are turning to data-driven, predictive models in all stages of the customer lifecycle. As they start to explore AI and ML, CSPs need to take a holistic approach and find opportunities and use cases across the customer lifecycle. This is how the battle for customer loyalty will be waged.”

Advanced analytics for customer experiences

Advanced analytics such as AI and ML can allow CSPs to get a better understanding of their customer expectations and experiences across the lifecycle, however, a few have still to implement technology solutions.

Just 35 per cent respondents said they are using ML or advanced analytics for renewals, while 36 per cent are said they are using AI for collections and recovery.

Considering personalisation as an important part, only 41 per cent respondents said they are using advanced analytics for it when while onboarding a new customer.

Shawna Morgan, Senior Director – telecommunications, media, entertainment, and technology, FICO, said, “The survey results underscore that there is still a tremendous opportunity for telcos to utilise analytics throughout the customer journey. Providers need to look beyond marketing and expand their focus to how ML and AI can improve customers’ experiences and reduce churn.”

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