AT&T are giants of the telecoms solution provider space, delivering advanced mobile services, next-generation TV, high-speed Internet and smart solutions for people and businesses. They are also the largest provider of pay TV in the United States and the world.
A top 10 Fortune 500 company, they serve a staggering 3.5 million businesses on six continents, including nearly all of the Fortune 1000 as well as neighbourhood businesses across the United States.
Sinan Akkaya is Director of RAN Engineering at AT&T and has over 15 years of engineering and management experience at various levels in the global telecom space, with significant practice on operations and strategic issues.
He will also be sharing his expertise at The AI Summit in San Francisco on 28-29 September, delivering his keynote on the AI implementation of “self-optimising networks”. Ahead of the event, AI Business were keen to get Sinan’s thoughts on the impact of AI not only at AT&T and the telecoms industry, but also on the business world as a whole.


sinan akkaya ATT

Sinan Akkaya of AT&T


Sinan believes the impact of AI on the enterprise landscape will come down to agility:

“Every industry is looking for more help to create services and products which will be sustainable with agile processes. AI is the key to agility because it is basically the mother process which creates the other processes. The simple exhaustive searches are rarely sufficient for real industrial applications; AI generates the efficiency and the speed to solve a problem and enables the business to repeat the same solution when the same problem or a similar problem occurs”.


Many business leaders feel that the limitations or immaturity of AI technology is currently a major barrier to its implementation in business. Interestingly, however, Sinan feels “the biggest challenge is the time to market for a fully-prepared commercial solution for any industry”:

“Critical missions will require a long conceptual discussion period and even after that the lab tests, checks and field trials will take a long time. The project groups driving AI solutions must be very patient and focused”.


So where are AT&T on their AI journey? Sinan outlines one solution they have put into place looking ahead to his keynote at The AI Summit:

“One interesting application is the Self-Optimising Network solution for the wireless network. The software analyses the real-time (or near real-time) data and decides how to react to different cases in optimising the resources and coverage due to changing traffic patterns throughout the day in the network”.

This is not yet without some level of human intervention, since the SON does not control the entire optimisation process. However, Sinan adds:

“The tactical responses which are more repeatable and can be identified clearly case by case are performed by the SON tool. The preferred network behaviour behind each case is studied by engineers and turned into policies, then SON uses the predefined policies and takes action accordingly”.


Looking ahead to the future, Sinan is keeping an open mind when it comes to his approach to AI at AT&T:

“We are looking into all opportunities in cloud-based, agile applications. AI cannot be separated from this ecosystem”.


Sinan sees AI having a potentially “radical” impact on the telecoms industry: “New AI applications which move on to the next phase of self-learning may change the efficiency and some business models radically”. He finds it slightly more difficult to predict the long-term future, however:

“There is still a thick line between tactical intelligence and strategic intelligence, but time will tell how much strategic intelligence will influence the daily operations. We don’t know that yet”.


At The AI Summit in San Francisco on 28-29 September, Sinan will deliver his keynote entitled ‘AI business case in Wireless Telecoms’, in which he will explore the AI implementation of “self-optimising networks”.

At the event, CxOs from the world’s leading enterprises will gather with the most exciting AI developers to explore the huge opportunity that AI presents the telecommunications industry, and many more industries besides.

To find out more, and to register to attend the event, visit:


AI Summit San Fran print screen


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