Telefónica turns to AI to boost customer data management

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Telefónica is using artificial intelligence to analyse customer data and provide better service.

New service operations centres will use Huawei’s Smartcare Service Operations Centres solution to process aggregated and anonymous network data and monitor for incidents, allowing it to address them proactively.

The Huawei solution can analyse customer issues and automatically recommend corrective action to the telco from a database of deployment projects.

It will initially be used on the company’s mobile networks in Germany, Argentina and Chile, with wider deployment in all other Telefónica markets to follow at an unspecified time.

The telco said this would “allow better use of services, predictive maintenance, network maintenance and network optimisation”, changing the model of network maintenance from scheduled to "proactive and predictive".

It said: “Telefónica is shifting the paradigm in network management evolving to a model that allows to monitor the quality of services offered to customers in real time.”

Enrique Blanco, Global Chief Technology Officer of Telefonica, said: “These SOCs are the first step in bringing customer experience to the next level.

“In the near future the application of Artificial Intelligence to networks will maximise capacity and solve any problems before end users even notice anything. The final objective is to manage the network automatically to avert any potential problems.

“Machine learning is also becoming critical as operators virtualise their infrastructure: networks are becoming dynamic and exponentially more complicated to manage as the control is delegated to the network’s edge. Telefónica moves towards the next generation of networks, intelligence and analytics are key, to turn data into a knowledge that enables real-life innovation.”

Automated customer data management is attracting increasing attention from operators and vendors.

In February, NEC unveiled Net2Vec, which analyses customer data from a range of input sources, including equipment logs, measurement probes, user data and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) equipment. It is designed to allow operators to identify user needs and improve customer retention by offering the likes of responsive tariff plans.

Last week, Vodafone unveiled a new AI chatbot to handle a range of customer service queries.