Vodafone Idea exec, Telecom News, ET Telecom

NEW DELHI: India will see a fluid and flexible workforce who would be able to work from anywhere in the 5G era, according to a top executive of Vodafone Idea.

“The pandemic led to work-from-home, work-from-anywhere models. Again, in 5G, I think we are going to see a fluid and flexible workforce, more people who are not part of the workstream will start coming into the system and working from anywhere,” said Anjali Hans, Senior Vice President-Regulatory and Corporate. Affairs at Vodafone Idea.

The Covid pandemic led to an increase in digital ways of working, and with fifth-generation or 5G technology, the trend will only accelerate,

“If we are talking about businesses working differently, then we also have to look at the people who are going to be operating those businesses. They need to be skilled as well,” said Hans.

She was speaking in a panel discussion at a conference organized by the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) on Monday.

5G use cases, according to the executive, will be across a range of industries including agriculture, automation, worker safety, disaster management, and others. Functional knowledge will now be needed for delivering these solutions, she added.

Lata Singh, Regional Technology Sales Director-NEB at IBM, highlighted that 5G also brings about a cross-section of the workforce who will be in demand in both the IT and telecom industries.

“And that’s where we are seeing the cross-skilling that is very critical. You’ll have skilled people in technology, who will understand the cloud, who will understand data analytics, IoT, and then you have the people on the telco side who understand the telco world very well… And therefore it’s important that we look at, I would say cross-pollinating skills between two industries,” Singh added.

TR Dua, Director-General, Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA), said that there is a huge requirement for the upskilling and reskilling of the present manpower in the telecom industry.

The telecom sector, according to Rajaraman, is a crucial one, and there is a demand for more skilled manpower with rapidly changing dynamics. “It’s all our collective responsibility. The government has set up a number of these skill councils and TSSC enabled the industry to come together,” the official said.

“Today from the infrastructure point of view, you’ve got almost 200,000 to 400,000 people at the high level, at the medium level around 90,000, and at the low level (it is) 60,000. Therefore, what you need is to reskill them and upskill them. Maybe we’ll be doing firstly reskilling and upskilling, and an additional one lakh more will be required by the end of the next year so as to ensure the 5G is put in place,” Dua said.

Additional skilling will also be required for deploying telecom infrastructure such as small cells, Cell on Wheels, and in-building solutions, amongst others, the executive said.

“As far as the infrastructure is concerned, we are looking at something like four lakh plus people by the 1-1.5 years,” Dua said, citing a TSSC report.

According to the Delhi-based telecom association, there are 7 lakh towers in the country currently, which will need to go up to 12 towers by the end of 2023. The fiberisation of towers will also need to increase from 30-35% at present. to 65-70% by the end of this year.

Ashish Kapoor, Director & CEO, Vedang Cellular Services, said that the training curriculum needs to be improved along with the setting up of testbeds to provide hands-on training to telecom workers.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *