A study commissioned by Ciena has found that CSPs (critical service providers) expect AI to enhance network performance, noting that fiber network infrastructure will be pivotal in order to achieve this.

In total, Ciena, in partnership with Censuswide, surveyed more than 1,500 telecom and IT engineers and managers at CSPs in 17 countries across the world.

Respondents to the survey said that upgrades to networks with new traffic and network analysis software (49 percent), along with upgrades in switches and routers (43 percent), and investment in 800G technology (40 percent), will be necessary to support AI workloads.

Ciena AI study infographic
– Ciena

In total, 99 percent of respondents said they will need to upgrade fiber-optic networks to support more AI traffic.

As for monetization opportunities, CSPs believe the sectors that will generate the most AI traffic, and therefore revenue opportunities, are financial services (46 percent), media and entertainment (43 percent), and manufacturing (38 percent).

"Understanding emerging technologies like AI is an essential step toward staying competitive in today’s constantly changing digital landscape," said Jürgen Hatheier, Ciena’s International chief technology officer.

"The survey highlights the optimistic long-term outlook of CSPs regarding AI’s ability to enhance the network as well as the need for strategic planning and investments in infrastructure and expertise to fully realize the benefits.”

India is most confident that AI will lead to monetization opportunities for CSPs (95 percent), while the US, with 55 percent is the least confident, of the nations surveyed.

Earlier this year, a study carried out by Liberty Global revealed that half of all jobs in the US and Europe could use AI and generative AI to improve efficiency in at least 50 percent of work tasks.

Liberty Global's 'Wired for AI' study adds that the telecom industry will play a critical role in helping seven in every 10 jobs to be augmented by artificial intelligence (AI).