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autonomous networks

Report from the Capgemini Research Institute

The telecom sector is embarking on a journey towards autonomous networks.

While most telcos (84%) currently reside at Level 1 or Level 2 autonomy for their overall networks, aspirations for higher levels of automation remain optimistic. Over 60% of operators aim to reach Level 3 autonomy or higher by 2028. However, the path to full autonomy is fraught with challenges, both technological and organizational.

In this Capgemini Research Institute report, Networks with intelligence: Why and how the telecom sector should accelerate its autonomous networks journeys, we provide comprehensive insights into the importance of autonomous networks for telcos and how these autonomous networks are best implemented.

The report found that some of the biggest obstacles hindering progress toward autonomy are the mindset of employees, integration issues, and regulatory concerns around data sovereignty.

Despite these – and other – challenges, there is no denying that autonomous networks offer significant benefits to telcos. Over the past two years, operators have already realized a 20% improvement in operational efficiency and an 18% reduction in network operation expenditure (OpEx) through autonomous networks initiatives. Additionally, 71% of operators have reduced energy consumption during this period, while they expect to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 30% over the next five years.

Networks with intelligence: Why and how the telecom sector should accelerate its autonomous networks journeys also found that telcos anticipate investing an average of $87 million in autonomous networks over the next five years, with estimated OpEx savings of $150 million-$300 million per organization during this period. Furthermore, the return on investment (ROI) of autonomous networks initiatives ranges from 1.7x to 3.4x, with a payback period of between 2.9 to 1.5 years in conservative and optimistic scenarios, respectively.

Capgemini at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024

iG: Welcome to the innovation generation

To accelerate and sustain their autonomous networks journeys, telcos must also adopt a comprehensive autonomous network transformation strategy, complete with well-defined goals and target timelines. However, only 17% of telcos have done this so far. Over half (51%) of operators have a roadmap that covers only the next one to two years, leaving them with limited visibility into the future.

Telco must also formulate the right talent strategy to support the scale-up of network autonomy. This includes appointing a dedicated leader for autonomous networks. Only 15% of organizations have already made this appointment, while a further 31% are in the process of finding the right person. This delay could hinder progress, as having a dedicated leader can significantly accelerate the adoption of autonomous networks.

Successfully implementing an autonomous network involves investing in key technology and data/AI initiatives, setting the pace of the transformation in line with the networks’ maturity, and innovating continuously to stay at the forefront of autonomous networks development.

Download the report to learn more about how telco operators can unlock the full potential of autonomous networks and transform their networks for the better.

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Meet our experts

Jacques Assaraf

Global Head of Telecommunications
Telcos are under pressure to continue to operate secure, reliable and fast network connections, while also enabling the services of the future, such as the smart grid, connected home, and IoT. We work with Telco clients to help them transform from the inside, building a mature digital capacity to facilitate the transformation of industries, society, and the world at large.

Shamik Mishra

VP, CTO Connectivity, Capgemini Engineering
Shamik Mishra is the Global CTO for connectivity, Capgemini Engineering. An experienced Technology and Innovation executive driving growth through technology innovation, strategy, roadmap, architecture, research, R&D in telecommunication & software domains. He has a rich experience in wireless, platform software and cloud computing domains, leading offer development & new product introduction for 5G, Edge Computing, Virtualisation, Intelligent network operations.

Ramón Armada Arnau

Solutions and Pre-Sales director, Capgemini Engineering
Telecommunications Engineer from the Polytechnic University of Madrid with several specialized certificates in the area of 5G Networks , Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networks. He has been working for more than 20 years in projects for both telcos and Network Equipment providers. In the last 10 years he has been leading presales activities and solution teams providing new ways to solve problems through innovative products and services. All this has led him to become International Delivery Manager & Service Manager leading more than 40 projects for the main Telecommunications companies in Europe.

Dr. Ehsan Dadrasnia

VP at Global Telco Network Cloudification in Capgemini
Ehsan is an experienced technology leader with over two decades of expertise in telecommunication landscape, particularly in the realms of wire/wireless network and cloudification. His area of interests are deployment of Telco Cloud solutions including ORAN, 5G, hyperscalers, virtualization, autonomous and intelligent network operation. In his current role, Ehsan focuses on the cloud network transformation of CSPs, working closely with technology partners.

Yannick Martel

Telco Leader
“The telecom industry is experiencing a new Spring, with renewed investments in Network technology and a strong awareness of the power of Data and AI. Both transformations are required and they go together – Data and AI is a strong enabler in providing quality service, higher revenue and lower costs, which are all necessary in new 5G and Fiber networks.”