Elevating Telecommunications Field Service with AI and AR - ETI

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September 15, 2023

Elevating Telecommunications Field Service with AI and AR

In the telecommunications industry’s rapidly evolving landscape, innovation is the driving force that will help Tier 2 and Tier 3 broadband providers stay competitive.  Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have emerged as transformative solutions that are reshaping the way field service operations are executed.  According to Gartner*, companies utilizing AR in field service management can expect a 20% improvement in first-time fix rates and a 10% reduction in overall service costs.

Augmented Reality’s Real-World Impact

Imagine a field service technician tasked with diagnosing a complex issue within a sprawling telecommunications network. Traditionally, this could lead to a series of truck rolls, consuming valuable time and resources. Enter AR – a technology that brings the expertise of a remote technician directly to the on-site worker. By using smart devices including smart glasses or AR goggles, a technician can engage in real-time, hands-free collaboration with experts located anywhere in the world.

This remarkable technology empowers technicians with real-time visual instructions, diagrams, and pointers directly superimposed onto their field of view. Whether it’s identifying a faulty cable or pinpointing the root cause of a disruption, AR ensures precise guidance on repairs, installations, and optimizations. The potential to significantly reduce the need for multiple truck rolls is now within reach, irrespective of whether other technicians are on-site, in an office, or in a warehouse. This approach not only minimizes downtime but also drastically cuts down on truck roll expenses, which can average around $1,500 per trip.

Beyond the Surface: Augmented Reality’s Instruction Overlay

AR’s benefits extend further through instruction overlays that enhance the technician’s efficiency during tasks. Picture a technician maintaining complex equipment in the field. AR can overlay step-by-step repair instructions, schematics, and data analytics directly onto their line of sight. This approach ensures technicians have instant access to critical information, enhancing precision and speed. The result? Faster, more accurate repairs that minimize service disruptions.

AI’s Role in Streamlining Field Service: Today’s Reality

While AR provides real-time collaboration, AI serves as the backbone of data-driven decision-making and predictive maintenance. AI algorithms analyze operational data to detect patterns, anomalies, and potential issues before they escalate. Predicting maintenance requirements, AI-driven systems enable proactive interventions that prevent network failures and minimize interruptions.

ETI Levels Field Service Capabilities for BSPs — Matching Larger Providers  

ETI Field Service Management, which leverages AR and AI, provides predictive analysis and proactive field engagement that transforms the speed and quality of issue resolution.  Technicians can easily manage work orders and make use of scheduling and dispatch tools for quicker customer response times.  Always mobile-ready, technicians can manage assets from anywhere making time tracking and billing easier and more efficient.

The convergence of AR and AI within field service operations levels the playing field, enabling broadband service providers to have the very same capabilities as larger operators. With AR’s power, including real-time collaborative features and instructive overlays, combined with the data-driven insights of AI, technicians are not only equipped, but they are also empowered to enhance network performance, curtail downtime, and provide unparalleled service quality.

As the telecommunications sector forges ahead, the symbiotic relationship between human expertise and state-of-the-art technology forges a future that’s both more interconnected and efficient. Thus, the future is not some distant hope, but an attainable reality, especially for Tier 2 and Tier 3 broadband service providers.

Source: Gartner, “Augmented Reality Delivers Business Value for Customer Service”


About the Author

Rhyan Neble - Vice President, Product Innovation

Rhyan has over fifteen years of experience developing and managing comprehensive telecommunications solutions and technical services in the continental US and Netherlands Antilles. Rhyan implemented one of the first Fiber-to-the-Home networks in the Pacific Northwest as well as the first RFID lift access system in the US.