The opportunities in 5G in India are immense and the fifth-generation (5G) technology will further spawn new jobs in operations and maintenance, and in selling of next-generation network services, said Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary K Rajaraman.
“It is because of the nature of its (5G) technology, the capabilities and offers, will also draw up a new range of skills, which will be required, especially in the use case development,” Rajaraman said.
Rajaraman was speaking at the ‘Skilling India for Next Generation Telecom Technologies’ event organised by Gurugram-based Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC).
The onset of new services will also necessitate setting of new types of network equipment, especially in rural, remote and hilly areas, the official said. “So therefore, we must promote the skilling of people to handle this.”
The official further said that the Internet of Things (IoT) use cases are going to bloom enormously with 5G.
“I think they are just a subset of the overall industry use cases that will be spawned by 5G, so narrowband IoT and many other kinds of forms of IoT, which would be very critical.”
He added that opportunities should also be provided for IoT technicians and people who can operate captive networks. “So these are some of the occupational categories that need to be created within the telecom sector.“
The telecom secretary said the Department of Telecommunications will work with the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) to “unpack all these opportunities” and formalize them into discrete job functions, which can then be converted into training modules at a later stage.
“We have already taken initiatives in rural areas, and created an international unit for skulking individuals to be able to employed overseas,” Arvind Bali, CEO, TSSC said.
The council also unveiled an overview report on skulking for next generation telecom technologies.
The national telecom skills body estimates that India will require as many as 22 million or 2.2 crore skilled manpower by 2025 to reap the full potential of 5G.
"Considering technologies like IoT, AI, machine learning, big data, cloud computing, and robotic process automation, roughly about 22 million workers will be required to skill or upskill themselves to match industry demand by 2025," Bali has earlier told ET.
The government plans to auction 5G airwaves around June-July and is targeting the first 5G call by the August-September timeframe.
The government plans to auction more than 1 lakh units of spectrum across 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3.3-3.67 GHz and 24.25-27.5 GHz bands, valued at around Rs 5 lakh-crore.
The Digital Communications Commission (DCC), which has the telecom secretary as its chairman, has backed Trai’s recommendations on 5G prices, while also supporting a telecom department’s view of auctioning airwaves for 20 years. The telecom department will now likely seek Cabinet approval for the DCC’s views soon.