Can IoT analytics transform Telecom?

What is IoT Analytics?

IoT Analytics is the application of analytics tools and procedures on huge volumes of data that are generated by various devices connected by the internet. Of course, there is a huge potential for IoT analytics making an impact across various industries.

IoTAnalytics can help organizations collect data from sensors in remote locations and the field. Think of areas like pipelines, weather stations, meters, vehicles, and other off-site machines. The value is to, then, analyze the data and make important business decisions.

IoT data emergesfrom a variety of heterogeneous streams that are transformed, combined, and, then,made comprehensible using analytics to give consistent and correct information for business analysis and reporting.

IoT analytics is being adopted and used in various industries across different service areas.

IoT Analytics and Telecom

One such industry which can bring about a huge transformation using IoT analytics is telecom. So far, thetelecom industry has been focused on making money based on growing the volume of customers. It’s fair to say that less than necessary focus has been maintained onthe retention of long-term customers, cost-efficiency, convenience, and customer experience.

With the advent of IoT, this industry could make a big shift from a revenue generation to a value generation model for better profits, low maintenance costs, and better quality of service.

The most obvious use-case is in proactive network maintenance. Network downtime and unavailability impacts not only customer satisfaction but also reduces revenue opportunities. IoT analytics can generate insights into network issues even before they occur to enable proactive maintenance to improve network quality and keep maintenance costslow. Reliable network services require a quick assessment of developing situations, rapid decision-making, and timely action.This can be provided by real-time analytics and automation. 

Of course, the scale of the telecom industry is now much larger than it used to be. There are many areas of this industry that can be transformed by the use of IoT Analytics.  Let us look at a few ways in whichthe telecom game can be transformed by IoT analytics.

Telecom use-cases

Predict customer churn and provide value-added services

Using predictive analytics the telecom industries can identify customer patterns for network usage, data usage, physical movements, services being used, etc.  Analyzing this data and creating comparative models of other customer defections will help in identifying customers who are likely to leave the network.This will enable the service provider to proactively provide some value-added services to try and retain the customers.

Increase Revenue and Identify the most profitable services

The huge amount of customer data that telecom companies have access to can be analyzed to understand and identify customer behavior and build real business values. This includes data about other IoT-driven devices the customers use like wearables and accessories. These volumes of critical data can be used to develop prediction models to identify which services are the most profitable and how to leverage and enhance those services based on customer behavior analysis. This, in turn, will increase the sale of value-added services and hence increase revenue.

This data can also be leveraged to better craft custom packages for customers that will maximize usage and drive up revenues. Predictive models built using analytics help identify which data pack is most widely used with which call service pack in which region. Sensor data can help provide data that can be associated with customer information to create precise “maps” of customer movements and service consumption. This information can be leveraged to promote various combinations of Data and Call Service combinations with better chances of success which previously would not have been possible.

New products and services

IoT solutions are finding application in a diverse array of fields like healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, and others. The coming of 5G, especially, is slated to dynamically drive up applications and ubiquity. As IoT solutions become more commonplace the data the solutions generate will explode and make IoT Analytics even more necessary. A variety of use-cases that exploit this synergy look set to emerge as that happens. Remote Patient Monitoring, Autonomous Vehicles, Smart Manufacturing, Intelligent Building, and others will all present revenue opportunities for the telecom companies that can use analytics intelligently.

Planning, Monitoring, and Maintenance of Telecom

Telecom companies will benefit from IoT-enabled remote monitoring and maintenance systems. Remote cell towers can aim for zero network downtime. Many remote sites exist in harsh environments that are not easily accessible. Having IoT-enabled access management and intrusion detection systems will provide a lot of value in this case. Using data analytics models, telecom companies can study previous system health data and proactively identify any issues in the remote towers or raise alarms for maintenance. This will help reduce maintenance costs and also enable zero network downtime.

The application of IoT Analytics isn’t without challenges though. Data ownership is becoming a fascinating debate that could draw a precedent for other industries too. The question of whether data belongs to the customer or the Telecom company is beingdebated fiercely. However, success in the new world requires a willingness to move beyond contentious issueslike data ownership and work together to generate the most value out of that data. In that light, various telecom giants have already started tapping into the potential benefits of IoT Analytics to alter their revenue-generation models, enhance offerings, and improve the customer experience. It seems likely that as IoT transforms the world, IoT Analytics will transform the telecom space too.