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Growth in telecom- Boom in jobs

Telecom is one of the growing industries of India and the growth is likely to sustain at a high level for the next 10 years. Therefore, the Telecom Industry offers a great opportunity as a career path. The most obvious demand is in the technical streams but there is also a growing requirement for high quality professionals in sales & marketing, revenue assurance and general management. It is an exciting industry to be in, and will continue to be for some time to come!

Current scenario in India

India is the 6th largest telecom network in the world With an investment of Rs. 1, 60,000 Crore in the Indian telecom space over the next two years and the doubling of its total subscriber base, India will emerge as the second most important communication market in the world.

The subscriber base for telephony services has continued to maintain its growth. At the end of May 2004, total fixed lines were 43.18 million and mobiles were 36.3 million, taking the telephony subscriber base of the country to 79.5 million. This is projected to increase to 175 million by 2010. This growth in subscriber base is a result of sharp decline in tariffs, intense competition among service providers, lower handset prices and lowering of entry barriers. Increase in coverage by operators in semi-urban and rural areas and the strengthening of marketing and distribution networks has also led to an increase in mobile subscriber base.  

National and international long distance call volumes are expected to increase in line with the growth in the telecom subscriber base. The demand for international bandwidth is also expected to increase substantially. Increased demand will be driven by higher usage of information technology services and IT enabled services.

The tele-density is expected to grow from 7.02 in 2004 up to 15 by 2010.

The Indian telecom equipment manufacturing segment has registered threefold production growth from US$ 1.3 billion to US$ 3.26 billion during the period 1994 to 2003.There will be an increased manufacturing of telecom equipment to meet the projected telecom expansion.

Higher broadband penetration to drive telecom growth in India

Broadband and Wireless networks, as well as the likely convergence of various technologies and standards, will drive the telecom market growth in India over the next few years. Greater use of online services in commerce, industry and transportation will create a boom for broadband.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has projected that Internet subscriptions will increase from 6 million in 2005, to 40 million by 2010. Broadband subscriptions will rise from 3 million in 2005, to 20 million by 2010.

However, the real challenge and biggest growth driver of them all will be the affordable implementation and delivery of these technologies.

Major players

  • Bharti Televentures Ltd
  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.
  • Hutchison Max Telecom Ltd.
  • Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.
  • Reliance Infocomm Ltd.
  • Tata Teleservices Ltd.
  • Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

Opportunity comes, calling

Nearly 1.5 Lakh telecom professionals will be required in telecom industry over the next 2-3 years. Jobs are not just for engineers, but also for marketing and management professionals.

Graduates and Post-Graduates in Engineering, Science and Business Administration are inducted as professionals at appropriate levels in the following functions:

  • Network Operation and Maintenance
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Financial Management
  • Materials Management
  • Customer Care
  • Credit Control

Telecommunication engineers are involved in the designing, manufacture and operation of telecommunication devices. They are concerned with establishing communication by means of telephones, telegraphs, radar, radio, radio navigational aids, TV, broadcasting, satellite and fibre optics. Telecommunication engineers mainly deal with line and wireless communication, or radio, cable or satellite communication. The work comprises installation, supervision and maintenance of telephone exchanges and telephone lines, and periodical testing of broadcasting and telecasting systems and studios and transmitting and receiving stations. As specialists telecommunication engineers can also work with the aerospace industry, and earth stations using satellite dishes. So, a telecommunication engineer can find employment with:

  • Mobile phone service providers,
  • Cable and Satellite networks,
  • Ministry of Communication,
  • Radio and Television,
  • Information and Broadcasting Sectors,
  • Railways or Police Wireless Organisations,
  • Paramilitary Forces like the BSF, CRPF and Defence-Related organisations and
  • Private Companies manufacturing Electronic, Digital and Radio equipments.

Professionals in the area of sales and marketing are required to market the products, which include mobile phones, broad-band technology, Internet services, computerised equipment and so on. While the engineers manufacture, repair and maintain telecommunication gadgets, marketing professionals are required to explain to consumers the different areas of usage of the various products and services, so as to ensure sales. This is essentially a business activity that involves various aspects such as market research, product development, promotion, pricing, sales and distribution.

Several other opportunities are emerging in the areas of networking, telecom protocols such as ISDN, wireless protocols such as GSM, as well as those providing the cables, the hardware and equipment that is going to provide employment in the future.

The main challenges for those who wish to become part of the Telecom industry today are, being able to cope with, and then exploit the rapidly changing market and industry scenario. What works today will not necessarily be right for tomorrow. Learning to accept this and continually seeking improvement is a major management challenge.

For Comments: psjamwal@amity.edu

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