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TECH THE JOB

5G is opening up a slew of new job opportunities for Indians

A man walks past a 5G sign in Monaco
Reuters/Eric Gaillard
Ready to hire in India
  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published

The buzz around 5G in India is growing every day—and so are job opportunities in the domain.

Jobs postings in India with “5G” in their titles doubled during January-March this year as compared to the preceding three months, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. The firm tracked job listings and analysed hiring patterns across career pages of companies for this study.

The 5G-related skills that are highest in demand include IP networking, software, firmware, and automation, said Ajay Thalluri, business fundamentals analyst at GlobalData.

5G is already operational in over 60 countries but Indians are still awaiting a rollout of the technology.

In 2017, the Indian government created a corpus of Rs500 crore ($69 million) to roll out 5G in the country by 2020 but that deadline was missed. The good news is that whenever it launches, the adoption of the technology would probably be quick because at last 40 million Indians will already have 5G-ready phones by then.

There has been heightened interest in 5G technology in India ever since India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani jumped into the fray. Last July, Ambani announced that Reliance Industries’ digital arm, Jio Platforms, has developed a 5G solution for India. A couple of months later, Jio joined hands with California-headquartered Qualcomm Technologies to “fast track the development and roll-out of indigenous 5G network infrastructure and services” in the country. Media reports are speculating that the company may launch a 5G-enabled phone and even announced the rollout of its 5G offering at its annual general meeting on June 24.

Other Indian telco giants are also experimenting with 5G in India. Vi (the entity formed post the merger of telecom majors Vodafone and Idea) has said it is well prepared for its 5G rollout. Jio’s closest rival, Bharti Airtel, has tested a 5G network in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad and said it is ready for commercial rollout. Meanwhile, the state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has also been conducting 5G trials.

However, most of the 5G -related hiring in India currently is being done by global firms.

5G jobs in India

American multinational Cisco, which is investing $5 billion (Rs3.6 lakh crore) to fund 5G projects globally, posted over 30% of the 5G job openings in India since Jan. 1, 2020, as per GlobalData. Swedish firm Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Ericsson) accounts for 20% of the newly listed positions in the same period.

Capgemini, which recently announced a 5G testing lab in India’s commercial capital Mumbai, is also filling roles in the domain.

Dell, which is building a 5G R&D team at its Bengaluru office, is currently hiring a director of software engineering for this undertaking. Hewlett-Packard also has an open position for a 5G network function senior test engineer.

And 5G-related telecom roles are still only scratching the surface. The next-generation wireless tech could have several use cases in new-age tech such as driverless automobiles, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), cloud computing, and smart devices under Internet-of-Things.

So more vacancies will be created as 5G becomes more mainstream in India.

“With a host of companies looking at various 5G use cases in India, hiring could go beyond conventional telecom end use,” said Thalluri. “Hiring is also likely to increase over the coming months with companies exploring various components of the 5G value chain.”

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