Juniper Research, the foremost experts in telecommunications markets, found that global network operator spend on AI for network orchestration will generate $20 billion by 2028; rising 240% from $6 billion in 2024.
The report predicted that enterprises’ increasing use of cellular networks, including for smart manufacturing and autonomous vehicles, will necessitate further investment into AI that automates key network processes.
These use cases require various degrees of high throughput, low latency and geographical coverage. Therefore, to maximise networks’ efficiency and reduce operational expenditure, the report urged operators to accelerate the incorporation of AI into core networks.
AI Investment Critical for Network Performance & Security
The report found that, as operators expand established 5G networks and build future 6G networks, AI must play an essential role. It identified performance optimisation and network security as the most important use cases; accounting for over 50% of global operator spend on AI by 2028.
Additionally, ever-increasing virtualisation of network functions and demand for cellular data will drive operators to implement AI to decrease operational costs. It predicted that the ability to automate real-time network analysis and adjust network conditions accordingly will be crucial to minimising the costs associated with network management and service provision.
Research author Frederick Savage commented: “As operators compete on the quality of their networks, AI will be essential to maximising the value of using a cellular network for connectivity. High-spending users will gravitate to those networks that can provide the best service conditions.” Juniper Research