5G Rollout To Create Demand For Skilled Telecom Workforce

A skilled workforce and their empowerment in the sector can serve as an efficient and effective mediator for all other sectors, given the use cases of 5G across industries


Arvind Bali, CEO, TSSC

India is all set for the rollout of 5G services after its official launch by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the sixth India Mobile Congress (IMC). Apart from the three telecom giants showcasing the potential that the new connectivity standard can unlock, a host of tech companies also displayed several enterprise use cases of 5G and its interplay with emerging technologies.

However, an important aspect that will become crucial and see significant demand as the 5G rollout progresses is the demand for a skilled telecom workforce. A skilled workforce and their empowerment in the sector can serve as an efficient and effective mediator for all other sectors, given the use cases across industries.

“Overall, there is a big demand with the 5G services being launched because technology is changing fast, and the industry wants well-trained and skilled manpower to be available,” says Arvind Bali, CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) while speaking to BW Businessworld at the IMC.

With these new technologies and use cases, for the sector to keep operating at optimum levels, skilled frontline workers will be capable of executing complex tasks and aiding the longevity of these systems. 

“Industry players are very active in helping TSSC in setting up and designing the curriculum catering to all categories of youth including school dropouts, college dropouts, regular college students and upskilling existing employees in the industry,” says Bali.

The various jobs in the sector are spread under categories such as service providers, network management, passive infra and the handset segment.

 The handset segment will see a lot of demand as most mobile users are still on devices that are not 5G enabled, and as it rolls out, the market for 5G enabled smartphones will pick up. An Ericsson report recently revealed that 59 per cent of users in India would look to upgrade to 5G once it is available.

“Handset segment will definitely see huge demand as there will be a need of manpower capable of handling services such as repair and servicing,” reckons Bali.

“People need high-speed data, and we need to connect 5G towers with the fibre, so the network segment which contains electronics, managed services and of course towers and other important telecom equipment will also see a huge demand,” adds Bali.

Another aspect to be noted with the launch of 5G services is enterprise use cases across sectors and leveraging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Artificial and Virtual Reality. 

“IoT, machine learning, and big data will be at play with 5G in sectors like agriculture, healthcare, and autonomous vehicles. So, we will need trained and skilled youth to be well versed with these technologies,” says Bali.

A case in point is cloud solutions, where the demand is growing exponentially in India and worldwide. As of March 2022, as per a report, the cloud industry in India has a digital talent demand of 36,400 and a supply of 23,400. The demand for cloud skills far outweighs the current supply and needs, and without adequate skilling, other emerging technologies can face a similar fate.

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