Telecom Engineers Optimistic About AI’s Impact on Network Performance and Revenue

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A recent survey among telecom and IT engineers at communications service providers (CSPs) indicates a positive outlook on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in enhancing network performance and driving revenue. Conducted by Ciena and Censuswide, the survey involved over 1,500 telecom professionals from 17 countries.

The findings reveal that 60% of respondents expect AI to boost network operational efficiency by at least 40%. Additionally, 85% are confident in CSPs’ ability to monetize AI-driven network traffic. The survey highlights the need for advancements in fibre network infrastructure to support AI enhancements. Popular strategies include upgrading traffic and network analysis software (49%), improving switches and routers (43%), and investing in 800G technology (40%). Nearly all respondents (99%) agree on the necessity of upgrading fibre-optic networks to handle increased AI traffic.

Revenue generation from AI is anticipated through various channels. Opening networks to third-party integrations was cited by 40% of respondents, while 37% pointed to security and privacy services, 37% to new product offerings, 35% to tailored subscription packages, and 34% to differentiating on connectivity quality. Financial services (46%), media and entertainment (43%), and manufacturing (38%) are expected to be the leading sectors generating AI traffic and revenue opportunities.

Jürgen Hatheier, Ciena’s International Chief Technology Officer, emphasized the importance of understanding AI for staying competitive in the digital age. He noted the survey’s optimistic findings about AI’s potential to improve networks and the strategic planning required for CSPs to capitalize on AI benefits fully.

Despite public concerns about AI-induced job losses, 67% of surveyed CSPs foresee AI as a job creator, particularly in cybersecurity, machine learning, and programming. While other sectors might face challenges, the general optimism from this survey offers hope for a positive impact of AI on the industry and employment.

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