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AI will reduce infrastructure deficit – GSMA



Artificial Intelligence has the potential to offset the impact of limited resources and poor infrastructure in the delivery of many life-enhancing services such as healthcare and education in Nigeria, GSMA has disclosed.

The global association for telecommunication operators revealed this while noting that the potential benefit of AI in Sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging regions would be significant, as a number of telecom operators are already taking steps to apply it across a variety of use in the region.

Stressing the future significance of AI, GSMA said, “Amid these developments, it is clear that AI will have a profound impact on the way society operates in the coming years, as the emergence of new AI tools and use cases will accelerate the implementation of AI across various verticals and business processes.”

The global body for telcos stated this in its ‘The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa (2023) report’.

Highlighting how telcos in the region are adopting AI solution to their operations, GSMA said, “Mobile operators in the region have employed AI at different levels, from improving network operations and customer services to achieving efficiencies and cost savings.  As a result, several network infrastructure vendors are creating new AI-enabled products to make the technology more accessible and to drive larger-scale deployments.”

According to the association, MTN is set to migrate to Microsoft’s Azure’s cloud computing platform to tap into machine-learning and AI to deliver operational efficiency across its business footprint, starting with Nigeria and South Africa.

Meanwhile, Airtel Africa’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya, has disclosed that Artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies can help telecom operators step up efforts to bridge the digital divide, drive financial inclusion, and deepen the availability of affordable smart devices.

He said this while challenging telecom operators on the continent to leverage emerging technologies to ensure all Africans can connect, engage, and transact with the rest of the world at the just concluded Mobile World Congress in Kigali.

He noted that Generative Artificial Intelligence is a powerful tool for predicting customer behaviour and deepening insights about customer needs and preferences. He added that opportunities exist in intelligent connectivity, a concept that foresees the combination of 5G, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence to accelerate technological development and enable new disruptive digital services.

In a statement, Ogunsanya said, “The telecom industry is in a unique position to make it easier for people to enter the digital world by deploying these technologies.

“This is through significant investments in building digital highways across the continent, while creating a vibrant mobile money ecosystem. Through collaborations with equipment manufacturers and other key stakeholders, we can put smart devices in the hands of every African.”

According to the Airtel boss, a significant proportion of Africa’s young population remains unreached with 59 per cent smartphone penetration.



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