Provisioning is a general term which means to provide, or make something available.
In the telecommunications industry it specifically refers to the act of setting up or configuring the necessary hardware and software to activate a customer's purchased services.
For example, if a customer purchased a broadband Internet connection, the provider would provision the service by setting up the equipment, wiring and transmission along with the relevant circuits, services and programming. Furthermore, everything needs to be tested to ensure device, equipment and service compatibility.
Provisioning is an essential and often complicated process which is made significantly quicker and easier through automation.