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Telecom industry must focus on manpower skills in pandemic era

As healthcare workers work non-stop to fight the pandemic, the telecom industry is also playing a critical role in keeping the economy running with seamless, always-on connectivity, said experts.

The telecom companies and their infrastructure partners have, in the last 15 months, deployed as many as 69,448 new mobile towers. The telecom companies have also together invested as much as Rs 9,000 crore in network infrastructure expansion during the year, following the coronavirus pandemic, indicating a sharp growth in the consumption of communications services.

In recent few weeks mobile internet consumption has also jumped 50 per cent to 60 per cent, showcasing the importance of connectivity has grown multifold.

Telecom is also a sector which is changing fast with new technologies and applications like 5G, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning. As a result, telecom talent has to constantly learn and upgrade to keep its skills.

“The roll-out of 5G services and evolution of next generation technologies in near future come with enhanced challenges related to the competence needs on the manpower front with the requirement of right and skilled manpower,” Amit Marwah, Head of Marketing and Corporate affairs, Nokia India, said in a statement on Sunday.

“As the industry ramps up its infrastructure and readies for future technologies, we need to invest in developing the right skills. The industry recognises this and is working towards it in many ways,” Marwah added.

The telecom industry contributes 6.5 per cent to India’s GDP and the industry has created around four million jobs. Almost a billion people in India use mobile phones and around half of them actively use mobile internet.

“Our industry is playing a critical role in providing connectivity to billion-plus nation and our industry is not limited to the telecom services providers only but covers the entire ecosystem which includes around 6,000 companies in the telecom business today,” said Arvind Bali, CEO, The Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC), in the statement.

“With the new ecosystem developing fast we are expanding our plans to upskill our manpower and believe that 3.6 lakh of additional manpower across a variety of job roles may be required for installation and maintenance of this infrastructure,” he added.

The industry also needs to migrate new job roles from current ones into 5G, new technologies and manufacturing. Also, the growth of the telecom sector could have a cascading impact on driving employment across multiple other sectors, the experts noted. IANS

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