Published On: Sat, Mar 20th, 2021

Gearing India for 5G Technology for future growth

What’s going to be the next big thing in technology? The mega disruption, the top game-changer, the avant-garde revolution that would set the tone for Industry 4.0? Well as most of us know, the answer is 5G. From smart phones and smart factories to self-driving cars, and enhanced business applications – this futuristic mobile broadband experience with its ultra-reliable low-latency communication and massive IoT is all set to transform the world as we know it. What it would lead to is a complete upgrade of the app ecosystem, with robotics and augmented sensors leading the way. 

At the recently conducted webinar, with COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India), NIIT and Nokia launched the 5G certification programme. The event saw senior industry leaders sharing their views on the benefits of 5G and how, as we edge closer to its deployment, the need for a flexible skills strategy will be required to exploit the full potential. Among the dignitaries at the event were U K Srivastava, Sr. DDG, NTIPRIT; P K Bhatnagar, President, Jio Platforms; Sandeep Gupta, EVP, Network Strategy, Airtel; Lt. Gen Dr. S P Kochhar, Director General, COAI; Vikram Tiwathia,  Deputy Director General,COAI; Sergio Fasce, Vice President, NokiaEDU; Alison Burns, Head of Customer & Partner Learning, Nokia; Sanjay Malik, SVP and Head of India Market, Nokia; Amit Aggarwal, CEO, IT-ITES Sector Skills Council,Nasscom; Sapnesh Lalla, CEO, NIIT Ltd. and Udai Singh, Chief Strategy Officer, NIIT Ltd. 

Emphasising on the importance of 5G, keynote speaker for the event, Rajesh Pathak, Deputy Director General (IC), Department of Telecommunications said, “5G will act as the next catalyst and enable the government to formalise the economy and sectors like healthcare and education among others. Currently, DoT is working with MeitY and other organisations to ensure that India is 5G ready.” 

On the occasion, Lt. Gen. Dr. S.P. Kochhar, Director General, COAI spoke of how building an extensive 5G network is a mammoth undertaking, and finding the workforce to make it possible is a challenge. “Even finding people to update and maintain existing infrastructure is a substantial issue for many companies. This certification programme is a wonderful initiative to guide businesses into the new world of next generation wireless technology. The programme covers the fundamental principles and the technical pillars of 5G along with the key business aspects that enable the learners to contribute towards the strategy and planning initiatives,” he added. 

Drawing a checklist for success

As 5G is going to radically change the ecosystem on both the demand and supply side, tons of opportunities will be created. However, this new layer of technology will require a workforce that is ready with relevant skills. Sergio Fasce, Head of Learning and Development, Nokia put forward an important aspect about skilling when he said, “Professionals – especially young students coming out of universities – need to be competitive in order to be successful. A lot of jobs are changing and many current positions will be obsolete in the future. Skilling is important for the present as it is for the the future.” That’s true because the bigger goal we all are marching forward to is to become a digital talent nation. According to NASSCOM, this means skilling about 4.3M people in the new emerging digital technologies. We are currently at 1.7M and there’s a long, long way to go. 

There is going to be a massive momentum behind 5G in the next two or three years with top companies already investing significant resources to build their own 5G ecosystem. That’s why the certification programme created by NIIT and Nokia Bell labs is imperative for the India success story. As Sapnesh Lalla, CEO NIIT Limited said, “This programme introduces the fundamental principles and the technical pillars of 5G along with the key business aspects that enable the learners to contribute towards 5G strategy and planning initiatives. It’s a global certification, tailored for the Indian ecosystem that students and enterprise customers in India will be able to access using NIIT’s digital platform. It is a programme designed for the future digital leaders of the world.” 

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