Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Telecel Ghana, Inspires at the 8th CEO Summit

Back to Business on The Move
Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Telecel Ghana, Inspires at the 8th CEO Summit

Share this post

Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Telecel Ghana, Inspires at the 8th CEO Summit

Unleashing Potential: The Transformative Role of AI in Telecommunications for Driving Economic Diversification

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, good morning. It’s a pleasure to be at the 8th Ghana CEO Summit. Let me commend Ernest Egyir, the board, and the team for building and nurturing this platform over the past 8 years.

I will be sharing my perspectives on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the Telecommunications sector as we drive economic diversification.

I came across 2 interesting quotes that I guess reflects the thoughts of many on AI and the sheer potential that it carries. The 1st is by Elon Musk. I quote – “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. I mean with artificial intelligence we’re summoning the demon.” — Elon Musk​

Alan Perlis​ (a famous computer scientist who spent over 60 years researching AI) – “A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.”

Central to both quotes is the acknowledgement of the power of artificial intelligence and also how profoundly complex we are as humans.

Our business, Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited (GTCL), recently branded Telecel Ghana, has gone through many transformations since 1974 from being what some of you would have known as P&T (Post & Telecommunication Corporation) to a company that now offers mobile, fixed, and mobile financial services to both consumers and businesses using evolving technologies including AI. Today it connects humans to humans, humans to machines and machines to machines.

The telecommunications industry is the backbone of the global digital infrastructure and a key enabler for the economic diversification that this country needs.

As data demand surges and connected devices increase, telcos will have to find ways of delivering the desired experience in the most efficient way. Deploying AI to fast track our service delivery, improve customer experience, and stay ahead of the curve in tech innovation is key to our survival and I dare say that of the country.

Adopting and promoting the positive use of such technologies is the CEO and management responsibility. This is what we did at our organisation. Resourcing our digital transformation team with the tools and new skillsets, introducing the agile way of working and leading the formation of our Squads, tribes and accelerators showed our clear commitment to make this a business agenda, not something for the Technology team alone.

Also, having an organisation that is digitally aware is a key part of our strategy as we deploy AI deeper and deeper into our business. – and this is why. Our employees have to unearth business challenges that when transformed would impact our service delivery and make us more efficient. It is important that they have the basic awareness and knowledge of the potential of these technologies.

After 5 years of being on this journey, our business, Telecel is reaping the benefits of embedding AI in how we work and deliver services to our customers.

Let me share a few examples (about 5 in the interest of time) of how we have deployed AI to make this more practical.

We have ingrained AI and machine learning in our product design system to create tailored data and voice packages for customers. You see, telcos are evolving to what we call a segment of one and not the segment of many, thanks to AI.

Our systems learn each consumers behaviour such as their data, airtime usage and many more and recommends personalised packages that align with the customer’s purchasing power and usage history.

Additionally, we use AI to predict credit worthiness of customers, their credit limits and likelihood for repayment before issuing airtime in advance or loans via our mobile money platform, Telecel Cash.

Today we have deployed predictive models that allow us to detect customers who are likely to churn off the network and by which month. This allows us to take proactive steps to retain the customer.

Using AI and Machine learning to manage customer queries, our AI-powered virtual assistant, TeRi has become a major channel for queries and troubleshooting customer issues especially for those who do not want to use the traditional call centre. I’m proud to say 60% of all our customer issues are received through this channel with an over 80% containment rate, meaning 80% of customer issues get resolved there without the need to contact any human.

Our field engineers who visit your homes to fix broadband faults are now assigned their jobs using AI and it is through the execution of the AI assigned jobs that performance is tracked and rewarded. Diverting an engineer’s attention to your house just because you know him does not serve his interest.

I’m proud to say we have over 40bots in our organisation today eliminating mundane tasks and improving back-end processes, freeing up humans for more analytical roles. We currently develop at least one bot a month and we intend to do more.

Proactive network management, fraud detection, network planning and self-optimisation, staff recruitment, even predicting employee churn are other ways telcos are adopting AI. Days of humans sifting through 1000 CVS ARE LONG GONE. AI has come to the rescue of my HR team.

One way of ensuring that this becomes a benefit to the economy is to promote cross-sector collaborations such as the work we are currently doing with the energy and extractive sector to digitise utility monitoring, remote asset checking s, real-time system maintenance and many more.

As CEOS, we have a responsibility, irrespective of the sector to adopt some of these technologies to drive productivity, unlock new opportunities and protect our market relevance and positioning. We all need to support the diversification of our economy through our various sectors.

By diversifying our service offerings, we can tap into new revenue streams and attract new customers.

This future is not a distant dream – it is within our grasp, waiting to be realised through bold leadership and strategic investment in digital innovation.

Of course, we must set ethical guardrails and institute policies to prevent the technology from being abused. We must navigate the complexities of regulatory frameworks, address concerns surrounding data privacy and security, and ensure that the benefits of AI are equitably distributed. We need to advance responsibly.

Let me conclude with this quote: Artificial intelligence is not a substitute for human intelligence; it is a tool to amplify human creativity and ingenuity.

Think AI, Use AI. Thank you for your attention.

Source: 3news

Back to Business on The Move