With 5G entering the next phase of development, organizations are preparing for the 5G data avalanche now. A new study by analytics firm GlobalData sees a hiring boom in the telecom sector as more companies are showing interest in 5G technologies with the Government of India allowing trials and testing.
According to the research, companies are looking to integrate 5G technologies into existing network elements and stepping-up research and development to provide customer management solutions. Jobs postings with ‘5G’ in the title have doubled between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021.
Ajay Thalluri, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, explains that job postings have doubled between the aforesaid period, indicating an increase in the demand for expertise in 5G domain. Popular roles include engineers specializing in networks, IP networking, software, firmware, and automation.
India is emerging as one of the key markets for Ericsson. Over 20% of the jobs posted since 1 January 2020 are in India with the company looking at cellular and radio network prospects. While providing technology support to service providers, Ericsson is also exploring security aspects of 5G networks by evaluating business strategies and requirements.
According to the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, in the next 5 years, 5G subscriptions in the country will surpass 350 million, accounting for 27% of all mobile subscriptions, and also projects that four out of every ten mobile subscriptions in 2026 will be 5G. Likewise, 60% of the world population will have access to 5G coverage, with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach 3.5 billion.
Cisco Systems is also investing US$5bn to fund 5G projects globally, including India. The company posted over 30% 5G jobs in India since 1 January 2020. Cisco’s 5G related hiring is dominated by engineers for cloud core and packet core teams to enable virtualized cloud services. Job postings are also for 5G mobile core projects to translate customer business needs into product technical requirements and use cases.
Meanwhile, companies such as Dell Technologies (Dell) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (HP) that offer 5G-enabled devices are hiring for experts in 5G domain. Dell is building a 5G R&D team from the ground up at its Bangalore office to design and develop products and solutions for service providers and enterprise customers. Interestingly, HP, which is gaining significant traction with communication service providers (CSP) accounts in various areas including 5G services, is providing cloud native 5G offerings.
Indian companies such as Bharti Airtel are expected to benefit by collaborating with the likes of Qualcomm Technologies in 5G/5G NR domain and access chipsets. India has permitted telecom operators such as Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to conduct trials for 5G with help from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technology providers for end use and applications.
In fact the telecom sector saw a surge in the contractual staff last year even amid lockdown, as new norms for remote working and social distancing played a significant role, encouraging companies to invest in network capacities. The uptake of 5G services is also expected to promote telecom contractual staffing in the coming two years and will be a major driving force behind hiring activities in the sector, according to a senior official of Team Lease, who believes the prospects of contractual hiring in the sector will remain positive even though there might be some glitches due to the ongoing pandemic situation in the country.
The roll-out of 5G services in the future will play a significant role in boosting the economy as well as the labor market. Key jobs include Director, Software Engineering – 5G R&D; Customer Success Specialist (CSS) – Mobility – 4G/5G; Embedded 5G/4G Cellular RF Software/Firmware Engineer; CMS R&D – 5G Micro-services Java Developer Bangalore, Karnataka; and 5G Systems Engineer.
Ram Mohan Natarajan, Senior Vice President – Business Transformation, HGS, believes with 5G devices going mainstream, everything is set to change – businesses, products, services, etc.
“The 5G network will offer over 20 Gbps data and very low latency. This will pave roads for many long-held technology goals, including real-time augmented reality (AR) and IoT, among others. 5G will also transform the underlying architecture in core networks and will promote virtualization, AI and Automation,” he said.
According to Natarajan, 5G will also boost other industries such as online education; healthcare applications like remote surgery, patient monitoring, telemedicine, etc.; smart farming with sensors in crop monitoring, online market places, etc.; smart homes and cities with sensors; smart utility meters and mobile applications; Sensor-based building management, video surveillance and many more. This also explains why there’s a greater demand for 5G jobs in the market.
Taking into consideration the current 5G trends and prospects, Thalluri comments, “With a host of companies looking at various 5G use cases in India, hiring could go beyond conventional telecom end use. Hiring is also likely to increase over the coming months with companies exploring various components of the 5G value chain.