The pros are whispering, "AI is exciting, but most of it isn't ready to put to use." Caroline Gabriel, one of the very best analysts in wireless, surveyed many major operators and discovered a huge gap between what is being delivered by automation and the many brave words we hear so often. She writes,
Plans to implement advanced machine learning-based automation in 5G networks are grinding to a halt, with operators slowing investment and reducing their ambitions. ... most plans had gone backwards. Globally, only 18% expect to have more than 40% of functions automated by the end of this year.
Last year 21% of the same operators said they would have more than 60% of processes automated* by the end of 2020. Those hitting this 60% mark fell to 14% in this year’s study, suggesting respondents had been over-optimistic previously or that projects are snagged, or harder than they seemed.
[Without effective automation, the] business case for 5G in the period to 2024 will be severely compromised – resulting in higher costs, less network flexibility, lower ROI on 5G RAN and on virtualization."