Communications networks building the foundations for AI deployment

AI use cases across sectors will rely on communications networks to support the transmission of high quantities of data at lightning fast speeds, as well as for current and emerging mobile and aerial systems and their related safety applications, particularly in a 5G and IoT environment. Telecommunications regulators in the U.S. and around the globe are and will be considering how to make more radio frequency spectrum available to meet this surging demand—whether by repurposing existing spectrum or enabling greater spectrum sharing through use of innovative methods, including the use of AI. On the network side, providers will be facing the challenges associated with network densification, optimization, and maintenance as well as deploying software-defined networks and AI computing at the network edge. Providers will also be confronting how to ensure that these networks are reliable and resilient, protected from cybersecurity threats, network outages, and environmentally friendly to achieve ESG goals. In addition, providers are exploring how AI can improve the customer relationship and experience, while equipment manufacturers are looking to introduce AI in the products and services they provide to carriers and end users.

Evaluating AI and the public interest

Telecom regulators are also evaluating how AI can advance various public interest objectives. For example, in the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has explored how AI can aid in the development of more accurate broadband data maps, which could be used to support the FCC’s goal of “closing the digital divide.” In the same vein, in its role as advisor to the President on telecom and information policy issues, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has sought stakeholder feedback on AI and human rights and civil rights and accountability mechanisms for promoting responsible use of AI. These trends are occurring throughout the globe as well. Interest from telecom regulators on the technical and societal issues related to AI are only expected to increase as this technology gains maturity.

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