Mobile network operators to spend $15bn on AI initiatives by 2024

The rollout of 5G mobile networks is set to drive huge investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and network automation
AI, MNO, 5G, Networks


Mobile network operators around the globe are set to spend upwards of $15 billion on AI initiatives by 2024, a new study has found.

The $15 billion figure represents a sharp rise from the current levels, with MNOs set to spend just $3 billion in 2020, according to the study published by Juniper Research.

With the rollout of next generation mobile network infrastructure, AI powered automation will become essential for managing mobile network traffic.

“The research identifies 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,” the report stated.

The research found that operators in developed markets would account for around 40 per cent of the new AI spend, leaving a sizable opportunity in developing markets, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, India and the Middle East. The research states that operators in emerging markets will invest $5 billion in AI initiatives by 2024, up from their current levels of $900 million.  

“The report forecasts that Indian Subcontinent and Africa & Middle East will experience the highest growth in spend on AI services, with operator spend in both regions forecast to grow over 550% over the next 4 years. It anticipates that operators in these regions will initially invest in AI-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions that yield immediate benefits,” the report added.

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