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Data Science, AI & Big Data for Telecom Service Providers in the context of 5G

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Attributed to Catalytics Datum

With the advent of the new telecom spectrum 5G, the entire world is brimming with excitement as, according to GSMA, 5G depending on the service provider and underlying application can offer up to 20 times faster transmission speed as compared to 4G network. Moreover, stunningly there can be >1 GBPS Bandwidth from a 5G Network and on an average 300 MBPS speed which is quite high as compared to a 25 MBPS of average internet speed in case of 4G Network.

According to the GSMA Mobile Economy study (1), ‘By 2025, the total number of 5G network subscribers in the MENA region will be around 58 Million’, which is over 30% of the entire population in the region. The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region is at the forefront of the Global 5G rollout fueled by a lot of private and public funding along with a tremendous dose of innovation by global Telecom Equipment Vendors (TEV) like Ericsson, Huawei, ASML, etc. In 5G Rollout for the regions of GCC countries, mainly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain & Kuwait are leading while other non-GCC countries like Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco & Egypt are speeding up the adaptation post-Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020.

This stunningly fast 5G rollout will be expensive but will enable new revenue streams for enterprises and operators alike. The Telecom Operators will potentially see revenue increase up to USD 46 Billion by this decade if effectively they are able to roll-out 5G, meanwhile, over USD 12 trillion worth of commercial activities are expected to be generated the industry driven by 5G technology.

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With massive volume of data flowing in a very small coverage & astronomically fast, needs what we traditionally called as Big Data, Data Science & AI:

  • To lay the network of Towers, Masts and to decide the density of Fibre Optics Cable the operations team should be knowing the call volume, data volume and bandwidth utilization by every hour, minutes, seconds not only for present but also for the future with some of the highly accurate forecasting with most cutting edge Machine Learning & Deep Learning Techniques. Generally a highly reactive, self-driving and accurate forecasting, with the lowest level of location granularity will empower the 5G service provider to manage the infrastructure well, so that high speed in service is reciprocated with a high degree of proactive maintenance.
  • An accurate forecast can give you the precision to foresee, but the sudden outburst of utilization in course of some events, festivals or some other factors in day to day life requires a precision-oriented self-organizing system, that can optimize, choose alternate paths or towers and divert the overly excessive load to a relatively quieter network segment; just as it happens in railways with Route-Relay Interlocking (RRI) Technology. The well automated Optimization & Operations Research techniques like Non-Linear Programming, Genetic Algorithms & Heuristic Searches are the backbone of self-reliant Network that can take up the true challenge of 5G experiment.
  • It is not only about the forecasting & optimization, it’s Preventive Maintenance & Predictive Asset Optimization that too helps to keep Network Health on top spirit so that 5G becomes even faster and reliable. With the algorithms from Machine Learning, Reliability Engineering, the network & operations management can foresee the next failure & next time there is a downtime in one of the tower or location or even in a bigger span.
  • With petabytes of information being generated every day, a resilient and balanced Data Centre that can handle an astronomical volume of data with perfect load balancing and scale-out architecture should be the container of every meticulous Network Planning & Optimization Activity fuelled by Data Science, Machine Learning & AI.

So it’s not all about funding and on-ground implementation of hardware, infrastructure & manpower; it’s overall a big planning & evaluation to begin with and maintain too. Thus, we foresee a huge scope in front of telecom operators in MENA region to adopt Data & Insights driven culture to effectively take benefit of 5G revolution. Pioneering 5G adaptation, one of the fastest in the world coupled with a strong 4G network base, the MENA region will be at the forefront of global Telecom & Communication Services revolution.

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