Even as suspense over the roll out of the 5G trial continue to haunt the top telecom giants in the country, according to a temp staffing company, TeamLease report, the 5G service roll out is set to spur telecom contractual staffing over the next two years and will emerge as a key driver for hiring activities in the sector.
The 5G technology which is still in the nascent phase of trials in India will be “rolled out not on a pan-India basis but in select areas first where the demand would justify the capex,” DoT said.
The technology will be rolled out in those selected areas which will be able to justify the capital expenditure incurred by the entity concerned on the 5G spectrum. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has already approved applications of telecom companies including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea for conducting the 5G trials.
Meanwhile, Deval Singh, Business Head- Telecom, IT and ITES, Media and Government, TeamLease Services, said that the outlook for contractual hiring in the sector remains positive, notwithstanding some ambiguities on account of the second severe wave of Covid-19.
“Telecom vertical is one of the biggest markets for the staffing industry…this was one of the verticals which grew even during the Covid times, and I believe that trend will continue in 2021,” Singh said adding that the 5G roll-out in future will offer a boost to the economy and to the labour market.
According to the TeamLease report, the talent requirement by the industry is expected to see 18% growth this year, with profiles ranging from technicians to installation engineers, and from civil engineers to project managers, in demand.
The growth would have been more pronounced but for the second wave of the pandemic. The industry is, however, optimistic that once the overall situation improves, 5G would galvanise job opportunities in the sector.
The demand for contractual staff in the telecom sector surged in 2020 despite the backdrop of lockdown and movement curbs, as remote working and social distancing norms drove data usage to new highs, pushing players to invest in network capacities. Telecom services have been categorised as ‘essential services' amid lockdown.
Meanwhile, among the list of telecom gear makers approved by DoT for trials include Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, C-DOT and Reliance Jio's indigenously developed technologies. The duration of the trials, at present, is for a period of six months, including a time period of two months for procurement and setting up of the equipment.
The permission letters specify that each operator would have to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings in addition to urban settings so that the benefit of the 5G technology proliferates across the country. A recent report by Ericsson has estimated that India can potentially have 40 million 5G users in the first year when the next-generation service is made available to them.