In this article, we give you an overview of the telecom industry, the skills required, training and career opportunities in telecommunications.
Due to COVID-19 induced lockdown, overnight, organizations, educational, and training institutions, households around the world transitioned to places of remote working, learning, socializing, and even shopping. And all of this required the internet and increased use of video communications.
This also drove the demand for networking infrastructure and connectivity. According to Forbes, this transition almost instantly pushed up internet usage by 70% and tasked networks that, prior to this point, were working fairly efficiently.
India is currently the world’s second-largest telecommunications market with a subscriber base of 1.16 billion and has registered strong growth in the last decade. The Indian mobile economy is growing rapidly and will contribute substantially to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to a report prepared by GSM Association (GSMA) in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Major government initiatives contributing to the growth of the telecom sector
- Under the Union Budget 2021-22, the government allocated Rs. 14,200 crore (US$ 1.9 billion) for telecom infrastructure that entails completion of optical fibre cable-based network for Defence services, rolling out broadband in 2.2 lakh Panchayats, and improving mobile services in the North East.
- In April 2021, the government pointed out that firms such as Ericsson and Nokia are now eager to expand their operations in India, and global companies like Samsung, Cisco, Ciena, and Foxconn have expressed interest to set up their manufacturing base in the country for telecom and networking products.
All these initiatives and reforms from the government have increased the scope of the telecom industry and increased the demand for a professionally skilled and trained workforce.
Major areas in telecommunications
- Optical networks
- Wireless networks
- Broadband technologies
- Next-Generations networks, etc.
The Telecom industry includes
- Cellular phones
- Mobile internet
- Satellite communications, etc.
Technological disruption in telecom
A wave of disruptive technologies is altering the telecom business. Many present telecom industry trends will be rendered obsolete by disruptive technology, while new telecom trends will flourish. The following are a few of the industry’s current trends:
- Open radio access network (OpenRAN) architecture
- 5G Networks
- AI and ML
- Mobile Edge Computing
- Next-Generation IoT
- Network Footprint Expansion
- Diversified Ecosystem
The rapid evolution of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, advanced data analytics, and edge computing is driving the current magnitude and pace of change in the telecom business. This has resulted in a shift in the industry’s skill needs, with employers looking for employees with cutting-edge skills.
According to IBEF, over the next five years, a rise in mobile-phone penetration and a decline in data costs will add 500 million new internet users in India, creating opportunities for new businesses. By 2025, India will need ~22 million skilled workers in 5G-centric technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and cloud computing.
Must-have skills to launch a career in the telecom industry
Apart from the technical and domain skills, interested candidates must also possess and have an appetite to acquire the following skills:
- Soft skills/ Communication skills
- Problem-solving abilities
- Design skills
- Risk identification skills
- Mechanical and Aptitude skills
Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC)
The Telecom Sector Skill Council is committed to developing a world-class trained workforce for the Telecom industry in collaboration with the Electronic and IT Sector Skill Councils after assessing and detecting growing skill gaps through trend research.
The SSC aims to,
- Upskill 5 million Indians in the industry
- Train 25000 trainers
- Facilitate setting up 500 training centres nationwide
- Define National Occupational Standards for 150 job roles
- Partner with 200 industry members
Courses in Telecom
- Diploma in Security Technologies
- Telecom Management
- B.Voc. Degree with multiple exits in Mobile Communication
- B.Voc. Degree with multiple exits in Telecommunication Technology
The eligibility condition for admission to B.Voc. programme in telecom shall be 10+2 or equivalent.
Certificate courses in Networking, Telecommunications, WAN, LAN, CDMA, etc.
Most in-demand jobs in the Telecom industry
The job market is expected to expand in the coming months and years. According to the current Monster Employment Index for June 2021, the telecom and Internet Service Providers (ISP) sector has grown by 39% over the previous year.
Furthermore, when compared to all company verticals, the telecom industry had the greatest hiring rate. One cause for this rise is increased digitisation. The introduction of 5G in the coming year is expected to boost the job market. According to HIS Markit predictions, the 5G value chain will add 22.8 million new employment globally between 2020 and 2035.
Top job roles within the telecom sector
- Customer Care Executive
- Field Sales Executive (FSE)
- Territory Sales Manager (Prepaid)
- Broadband Technician
- Handset Repair Engineer
- Telecom Terminal Equipment Application Developer
- Tower Technician
- Field Maintenance Engineer
- Fault Management Engineer
- Network Engineer
Several new measures, such as the Production Linked Incentive (PLI), as well as the government’s emphasis on domestic manufacturing, are expected to expand telecom and IT employment.
Even if the job market is improving, there is a significant skill gap because emerging technologies such as 5G, automation, and cloud computing are in high demand.
What’s ahead for the telecom industry?
The Indian Government is planning to develop 100 smart city projects, and IoT will play a vital role in developing these cities. The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 envisaged attracting investment worth US$ 100 billion in the telecommunications sector by 2022. App downloads in India are expected to increase to 18.11 billion in 2018F and 37.21 billion in 2022F.
If you wish to build a career in the telecom industry, then you can choose to form the wide range of job roles available at your convenience. However, to do so, you must first build the required skill set. If the telecom industry is your dream, then start building the right expertise to get into it.