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Airtel May Monetise Its Data Analytics Division

Airtel is planning to monetise its data analytics and innovation division, where other telecom players can leverage the intelligence and solutions created by the company.

“We study customer preferences, their device pattern, consumption, interest, applications downloaded along with usage to make the right offer. All this data is being collected without compromising on the privacy of users,” a senior company executive told DNA Money on the condition of anonymity.

Currently, data analytics is being used for internal use, but it might be hived off as a service which could be used by other players.

Airtel’s X Labs – the data analytics and innovation division – was set up in Bengaluru to drive innovation in the areas of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and Internet of Things. The division is constantly engaged in building a pipeline of solutions and use cases, which could be replicated by other telecom firms as well, the executive said.

It is also in the process of building a data warehouse with the learnings from AI for predictive analysis and real-time recommendations.

About hundreds of trillions of records from customer purchases, phone calls, network logs, apps, IoT devices, locations and more are generated every day. The intelligence team combines data science, data intelligence, and data infrastructure and process high volumes of data, create micro-targeting marketing campaigns, improve personalization and optimization and ensure revenue. The platform triggers insights from the activities of over 400 million customers.

The network of Airtel has around 7,450 million minutes of call usage per day, 25,000 terabyte data usage per day, 30 lakh users on My Airtel App everyday and 1,000 online recharges per minute every day.

The data analytics also involves various partnerships with network companies, handset makers, etc, to create a quality network for customers. From customer experience and online experience to data services and incubations, the team’s focus is to innovate, personalize and differentiate the Airtel experience.

At some stage in the near future, for a premium customer, the company may give a guarantee that it will come and fix a solution for your network either in your house or office in a specified time.

Since the entry of Reliance Jio, the consumption of data on mobile has been growing at a massive pace, and with data being the silver lining, all the telecom players are latching onto it to boost their revenues. According to Nokia’s annual Mobile Broadband India Traffic (MBiT) Index, the mobile data traffic in India grew 109% in 2018, with 4G alone contributing 92%. The average data usage grew by 69% in 2018 to touch 10GB a user per month in December.

The things for the telecom industry went awry after the entry of Reliance Jio into the sector in late 2016. The cumulative debt of the industry remains high at Rs 7 lakh crore. Continuous investment in their networks has become difficult for Airtel as well Vodafone Idea, which is still in the process of integrating the two networks.

Mining data

  • Customer intelligence and solutions can be leveraged by other telcos, currently, data analytics is for internal use
  • Airtel’s X Labs was set up in Bengaluru to drive innovation in the areas of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and Internet of Things―DNA India
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