Discussion Papers

No. 453: Artificial intelligence in the telecommunications sector – Importance, development prospects and regulatory implications (December 2019)    

Authors: Martin Lundborg, Christian Märkel, Lisa Schrade-Grytsenko, Peter Stamm 

(full version only available in German)  


Subject of the study is the investigation of artificial intelligence in the network sectors and the resulting regulatory issues. Desk research and expert interviews were conducted from March to November 2019 for this purpose. 

The results of the survey show that there are already many potential application areas for AI in the telecommunications sector today. However, the German telecommunications market is currently only dealing with a few selected Machine Learning/AI applications. This is mainly due to a high demand for skilled workers, know-how and (elaborated) data as well as occasional ambiguity about the benefits of these applications. The main drivers of AI in the network sector are primarily energy-saving potential, resource efficiency and (long-term) cost savings. Predestined area for ML/AI in the telecommunications companies today is the customer service. 

For the use of AI in the network sector, the study identified discrimination and transparency issues. Economies of scale are also increased by AI. This results in higher market concentration and disruption potential. In addition, further thematic intersections could be identified which need to be examined in the context of the regulation. These include, for example, the role of AI in 5G (QoS / Network Slicing) or in new cloud services. 

Diskussion Paper is available for download.

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