SATNAC 2023 Industry Solutions Challenge

The SATNAC Industry Solutions Challenge 2023

As SATNAC marks its 25th year, we are elevating our commitment to fostering collaboration between Academia and Industry. This year, we're excited to introduce The SATNAC Industry Solutions Challenge. In this challenge, postgraduate and undergraduate students are invited to participate in one of four industry-inspired challenges issued by SATNAC's top sponsors. Throughout the challenge, teams will apply research, analytics and technical skills to investigate practical solutions under the mentorship of an expert from each sponsoring industry partner.

Under the SATNAC 2023 theme: The Augmented Era - Navigating Artificial Intelligence in a Connected Society

Challenge Topics

ZTE Corporation Logo

Deploying AI automated decision-making capabilities, for delivering greener yet high performing 5G networks.

5G and next generation networks are migrating to higher frequency bands, necessitating an increased number of Radio Access Network (RAN) sites to achieve the same coverage as legacy networks. More sites will inevitably lead to higher energy consumption, resulting in higher operating expenses (OPEX) for operators and increased carbon emissions - a critical concern for operators and countries that have pledged to net zero goals. In South Africa, especially, the ongoing energy crisis makes this a critical challenge. Considering these realities and challenges, we invite solutions that leverage AI to optimize OPEX through efficient energy management in 5G networks. Proposed solutions should thoughtfully consider the operational and environmental for telcos. Submissions should provide a comprehensive overview including pertinent facts, figures, technological specifications, and a thorough analysis of implementation implications.

Openserve Logo

Disruptive alternative energy solutions for telcos - combating the effects of loadshedding and ensuring cost efficiency.

By mid-2023, South Africa had seen a total of over 6,000 hours of loadshedding since the beginning of 2022, which, for the Telkom Group, resulted in a 96% increase in diesel usage to run generators to keep the network functional - costing over R150 million on batteries and R503 million on diesel. Openserve calls for innovative alternative energy solutions to mitigate these costs and ensure economic and environmental sustainability. The proposed solution must be practical for implementation by telecommunication companies and demonstrably contribute to significant cost savings.

Huawei Logo

Optimising the adoption of AI models in Medium-range global weather forecasting.

With the intensification of global climate change and frequent occurrence of extreme weather in recent years, the expectation of timeliness and precision of weather forecasts is increasing day by day. In meteorological and climate forecast tasks, global medium-range weather forecast (14 days) is one of the most important prediction tasks. Traditional physical models have problems such as long prediction time, inaccurate temperature, wind speed, and typhoon track. What are the ideas or methods on optimizing AI model to improve the forecast precision and forecast timeliness of medium-term forecast? Refer to the meteorological models released in the industry, such as GraphCast.

Amdocs Asaje Logo

The Adoption of AI tools in call centres to improve customer experience and retention.

Customers require immediate support from service providers however, when they contact Call Centres, they often spend so much time waiting to get connected to an agent. This negatively impacts customer experience, NPS score and growth. Furthermore, customers often have various grievances that are currently not being effectively analysed to improve the customer satisfaction e.g., poor network service, poor customer service, affordability, etc. This analysis can greatly benefit from the adoption of AI tools in industry. We invite solutions that leverage AI to bolster customer service, and in turn improve the NPS score and stimulate business growth. Specifically, we are interested in how A I can facilitate a nuanced understanding of customer grievances, providing call centre agents with the necessary information and guidance to effectively address a wide range of customer issues.

Telkom Consumer logo

Using AI and other technologies to combat the scourge of theft and vandalism of mobile network infrastructure.

The mobile industry suffers immense losses due to theft and vandalism of the infrastructure especially the theft of base station backup batteries. The impact of theft and vandalism of mobile network infrastructure is not limited to high input costs for operators, but it also has a negative impact on Communities served by the affected infrastructure. This has the unintended consequences of widening the Digital divide gap. In trying to solve this problem, the industry has deployed a variety of measures (e.g., armed response, base station remote monitoring). However, this has not significantly reduced these incidents. One of the challenges associated with securing mobile network assets is the ubiquitous nature of the network. The network is too vast and distributed nationally and this makes it challenging to secure and deploy mitigation measures at cost.


Solutions should be submitted as:

Report outlining the solution (maximum 4 pages)

Summary presentation of the solution

Prototype or Proof of Concept (POC) (optional)

Important Dates

Participation invitation opens:

27 June 2023

Participation entry closes:

07 July 2023

Challenge kick-off (virtual event):

12 July 2023

Challenge Finale (virtual event):

21 August 2023


29 August 2023 at SATNAC 2023


Top teams will have the opportunity to attend SATNAC 2023. Challenge award winners will be announced at the conference.

Winning teams or individual participants will be awarded the “SATNAC 2023 Industry Solutions Innovator Award”

Prizes will include

Customised skills development or work experience packages designed by the topic sponsors.

Company-sponsored valued prizes by the topic sponsors

Participation Criteria and Expressions of Interest

Entries Closed - No Further Submissions Accepted. Thank you to all participants for your interest and submissions, we are now moving forward with the evaluation process and the challenge.