Telcos are under pressure to deliver national fibre and 4G coverage. But they are losing time and CAPEX with outdated investment planning tools. In the new digital era, telcos need to drop their Excel models and start using big data software to drive their investment decisions.

All over Europe, governments and regulators are increasing pressure on telecom operators to accelerate high speed Internet roll-out. UK and France, in particular, are in tough discussions with their national providers, trying to force investments by introducing legal constraints and financial penalties.

Obviously the objective is to rapidly reach full national coverage, but moreover, it’s about making our economies ready for IoT and future growth.

Europe needs to move fast. But neither putting public money on the table nor forcing investments will be enough. As CAPEX levels are reaching a historical peak, operators need to revolutionize the way they plan their CAPEX decisions.

Spending months building Excel files with limited possible iterations is the model of the past. It creates a lot of inefficiencies, materialised in hundreds of millions in wasted CAPEX. With millions of homes to be connected, complex cost modelling and revenue forecasting, telcos need to use advanced analytics to optimize their network investments. In the world of Google and Amazon, how many of them are using machine learning to prioritize their investment decisions?

Proximus is one of the service providers leading the way on the use of analytics to optimize network investments. Their experience shows a CAPEX efficiency gain of more than 10%, which is key for accelerating the roll-out of full fibre, ultra-fast broadband networks across Europe. That should be the top priority for both governments and telcos.