Startup Stories: The hitchhiker’s guide to mobile network management


We’ve met Net AI before but things have moved on for this startup spun out of the University of Edinburgh, including attending MWC earlier this year.

Tell us about your start up
Net AI is a network intelligence company whose mission is to develop a market-leading deep traffic analytics platform that can drastically reduce CAPEX/OPEX/TCO for mobile operators and enable new high-margin revenue streams.
Our customers are mobile network operators, telco OEMs, and professional services companies with a global presence.

What is your USP?
Net AI has developed a family of cloud-native software solutions that build on years of research at the intersection of mobile networking and artificial intelligence conducted at one of Europe’s leading computer science research centres, the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.

Our key differentiator is a combination of a patent-pending stream decomposition and analytics framework and an AI-based prediction engine, which facilitates real-time and predictive insights into per-service network usage on a real-time basis, fuelling the automation of network and compute resource management. Our products are fully automated, scalable, encryption-agnostic, and deployable with emerging Open RAN and 5G architectures.

What is your relationship with the telecom sector?
We are engaging with 1) mobile network operators who seek to meet their customers’ demand in a cost-effective way using intelligent solutions; 2) cloud computing companies that recognise their customers face new challenges that can be tackled with AI solutions, but AI may not be their core business; and 3) system integrators that seek to understand what services are relevant where, how to automate operations, and how to mitigate high customer churn.

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How have you got to your current stage of development?
We raised £750,000 pre-seed investment in October 2021, led by Techstart Ventures, with Nauta Capital, Creator Fund, Old College Capital, and Edinburgh Technology Fund also participating. We also received support through grants from Innovate UK and Scottish Enterprise, and we were part of the AI Post-covid Accelerator funded by the Scottish Funding Council and hosted by the Bayes Centre.

Why did you establish the business?
As networks are increasingly built-in software, we believe real-time and predictive traffic analytics can revolutionise the management and monetisation of mobile networks. In addition, AI-driven traffic insights can drastically improve energy efficiency of mobile infrastructure, which already contributes an important fraction of the global carbon emissions. Not least, we believe everyone should have equal job and education opportunities and affordable mobile connectivity can enable this, which is another reason for establishing our business.

I am an engineer by training and have been a faculty member at the University of Edinburgh for the past 9 years, where I have pioneered the use of deep learning for tackling challenging problems in the mobile networking space. This line of research can bring important commercial and societal benefits, and that’s why I decided to spin-out Net AI.

Who inspired you?
In similar measures: Nikola Tesla (pioneer of the alternating current electrical system and wireless communications), Robert Moog (inventor of the synthesiser), and Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

What does the future hold for your business?
We plan to take a share of the global network automation market, which is expected to exceed $28bn by 2028.

HEADQUARTERS: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Paul Patras
Mark Chapman
Marco Fiore

Net AI will be in the Startup Village at Total Telecom Congress in London on the 1-2 November 2022. Meet them there by requesting your ticket