Recently, the “2021 China Software Industry Annual Conference”, the most influential event in China’s software industry, was held in Beijing. Leaders of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, leaders of some provincial and municipal authorities, as well as representatives of research institutions, industry organizations and leading companies gathered together to review and summarize the development of China’s software industry in 2020, and award honors to outstanding enterprises, leading figures, products and solutions with industry-wide influence.
Recently, AsiaInfo Technologies and its partners in industrial and academic circles including China Mobile, China Telecom, Verizon, AT&T, Stevens Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University co-authored and published an article named The Next Decade of Communications AI (hereinafter referred to as the “article”). The article reviews and summarizes the development and integration of mobile communication and AI in the past 40 years, and makes a forward-looking analysis and outlook on the development prospects of AI in the next generation of mobile communication in the next 10 years, which is the first article in the communications industry that systematically describes the integration and evolution of communications technology and AI technology.
All the authors of the article are senior experts in the fields of mobile communications and AI. The article extends the heartfelt gratitude to the colleagues in the communications industry who have contributed to the field of communication AI in the past decades, and hopes that the industry will work closely together to make greater contribution to the integrated development of communications AI in the next decade.
The Chinese version of the article has been published in Telecommunication Science, the core science and technology journal in China in April 2021, and the English version will be published soon.
Figure 1 Summary of The Next Decade of Communications AI
Authors of the article
Dr. Ouyang Ye, AsiaInfo
Dr. Wang Lilei, AsiaInfo
Dr. Yang Aidong, AsiaInfo
Malik Saha, Verizon
Dr. David Beranger, AT&T, Stevens Institute of Technology
Gao Tongqing, China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd.
Wei Leping, China Telecom
Academician Zhang Yaqin, Tsinghua University
Message from authors
As the two flagship states for the global development of fifth-generation mobile communications (5G), China and the United States have entered the third and fourth years of development of 5G’s commercial process in 2021. At present, 5G and AI have been regarded by the industry as the latest set of general-purpose technology combination which plays a role in boosting productivity and empowering the development of vertical industries. How do experts and scholars from the two states think about the development of mobile communications and AI in the early stages of 5G and the next decade? The Next Decade of Communications AI provides insights and prospects from the industrial and academic circles of communications.
The article not only introduces the early development paths of mobile communications and AI, but also focuses on reviewing the integrated development of AI and communications technology from 3G to 5G.
Figure 2 The development paths of mobile communications and AI technologies
Based on the past 37 years of the development of mobile communication technology, the article elaborates on the development of AI technology in the main areas of the mobile communication ecosystem, including the integrated development of AI with communication network infrastructure, network management and operation, telecommunication business management, smart technologies for cross-domain integration, and vertical industries and segmentations such as private networks; and summarizes the latest classification definition system and evolution route of AI technology in mobile communication system of the International Communication Standards Organization.
Oriented by the next decade, the article combines the 6G research works of the EU, Japan, South Korea, the United States and China in the first place, and looks to the development path of the international mainstream communication standard from B5G to 6G.
Figure 3 Prospect of the development path of the international mainstream communication standard from B5G to 6G
Aiming at the development path and evolution trend of communications AI in the next decade, in combination with the 5/6G timetable of 3GPP and ITU-R, the article prospectively explores the development and application of new components of network intelligence such as NWDAF, SON, O-RAN RIC, etc. in the field of communication network infrastructure; development and application of new network AI technologies such as MDAF, network AI middle-ground, network AI signaling system, on-demand network, ETSI ENI network experience and perception system, network digital twin technology in the field of network management and operation; the development and application of AI platform-based intelligent customer service, intelligent marketing, intelligent recommendation, etc. in the field of telecom services and support; the integrated intelligent evolution of CEM and ELA systems based on federated learning in the cross-BSS and OSS fields; and the development and application of AI-based 5G private network slice SLA guarantee, intelligent scheduling and optimization of slice resources, wireless private network coverage and performance optimization, and AIOps in private networks of vertical industries.
Figure 4 Summary of the outlook of communications AI in next decade
At the end of the article, we propose that colleagues in the communications industry need to reach a consensus to comprehensively accelerate the development of AI in the communications ecosystem in the “next decade”.
The article systematically describes the overall picture of the development process of communication AI for practitioners and scholars in the communications industry, and makes a forward-looking prospect on the evolution route in the next decade. Some viewpoints in the article combine the collective intelligence of Chinese, American and European experts and scholars in the fields of communications and AI. Gratitude is also extended to Dr. Yue Wang (UK, Samsung), Wang Haining (China, Intel), Dr. Kai Yang (US, Tongji University, China), Le Su (US, Verizon), and Dr. Sun Zhenqiang (China, China Telecom) and Dr. Yu-dong Yao (Academician of Canadian Academy of Engineering) for their guidance and assistance to the composition of the article.
(Scan the code to download "The Next Decade of Communications Artificial Intelligence")