Telco Digital AI Assistants & Chatbots: State of Play and Monetization Plans

Telco Digital AI Assistants & Chatbots: State of Play and Monetization Plans


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is empowering telcos’ internal & external capabilities and can help them yield new revenue streams. AI capabilities are being infused across all telcos’ key business areas, including networks, products & services, and customer interactions.

Initially led by pure-play Internet and cloud providers such as IBM with Watson, Apple with Siri and Amazon with Alexa, the artificially-intelligent digital assistant &chatbot ecosystem is seeing the emergence of telco players. Examples include in-house developed AI assistants such as SK Telecom’s NUGU and white-labelled chatbots such as Kyivstar Ukraine’s Zoryana.

It is still early days for telcos’ digital assistants and chatbot deployments. Most initiatives have focused on digital customer support, sales and business process optimization and cost reductions.Moreover, in addition to increasing customer satisfaction and retention, a few telcos are harnessing digital assistants &chatbots to generate new revenue streams - e.g., through VAS & smart device sales.

Telco Digital AI Assistants & Chatbots: State of Play and Monetization Plans, a global outlook report, gives an overview of the digital assistant &chatbot ecosystem, analyzes telcos’ deployment strategies and their overarching goals.

The report also provides a number of monetization options that telcos have adopted and are planning to rollout for their digital assistant and chatbot capabilities. It also offers case studies of telcos’ digital AI assistant implementations. It reviews the development strategies, the key benefits produced and the monetization models.

Companies Mentioned: Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Deutsche Telekom, Globe Philippines, Google, IBM, Kakao, KT, Kyivstar Ukraine, LG, Magic Leap, Microsoft, Nanosemantika, Naver, Orange, Servicefriend, SK Telecom, Softbank, Telefonica, Telegram, T-Mobile, Verizon, Viber, Vivo, Vodafone, Xiaomi.


  • Digital assistants and chatbots are becoming important capabilities to powering telcos’ customer journey digitization.
  • Most telco digital assistant and chatbot deployment initiatives have initially focused on digital customer support and sales.
  • Monetization use cases, for new revenue streams generation, are also starting to arise.
  • In light of the capabilities made available by global Internet & cloud players and other technology companies in this space, telcos need to carefully select their digital AI assistant deployment strategy to be able to yield the return they seek.
Reasons to buy
  • This global outlook report provides an extensive examination of the digital AI assistants & chatbots ecosystem to help telecom operators harness the capability and related business model levers required for customer journey digitization and to help telcos capture new revenue streams.
  • The report objective is to help inform global industry executives' decision-making process on the required digital AI assistants & chatbots implementation and monetization strategies.
  • Four case studies illustrate the findings of the report, providing insights into telecom operators' digital AI assistant implementations. This will help industry executives understand the drivers and benefits digital AI assistants can create for them as well as the business & partnership models telcos can adopt to deploy & monetize these AI capabilities.
  • With eight exhibits, the report is designed for an executive-level audience, to help them understand and determine the adequate evolution moves for their AI strategies.

List of Exhibits
Executive Summary
Section 1: Taxonomy & Market Context
Defining AI
AI technologies overview
AI adoption for telcos: drivers & inhibitors
Telecoms’ AI use cases overview
Section 2: Digital AI Assistants & Chatbots
Digital AI assistants & chatbots - genesis and timeline
Digital AI assistants & chatbots - the telco landscape
Section 3: Telco AI Assistant Case Studies
SK Telecom’s NUGU
Vodafone UK’s TOBi
Orange Spain’s Djingo
Vivo Brazil’s Aura
Section 4: Key Findings & Recommendations
Acronyms and definitions
Companies mentioned
About the authors
Related research
Contact information
List of Figures
Exhibit 1: AI definitions and key technologies
Exhibit 2: Sample AI application use cases in telecoms
Exhibit 3: Digital AI assistants’ key milestones & telcos’ activity
Exhibit 4: Sample AI assistant & chatbot telco map
Exhibit 5: SKT’S NUGU snapshot
Exhibit 6: Vodafone UK, TOBi snapshot
Exhibit 7: Mi Orange Spain with Djingo, Snapshot
Exhibit 8: Vivo Brazil, snapshot

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