Sergey Nivens -

Singapore to build 5G talent pipeline

Singapore’s telcos will start hiring and training about 1,000 telecoms professionals by year-end to support the deployment of 5G networks

Singapore’s mobile network operators will start hiring and training about 1,000 telecoms professionals by the end of this year to support the deployment of their 5G networks.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will also set up 5G workforce transformation committees to identify the talent requirements of telcos in diverse functions such as 5G networking, cyber security and solutions engineering.

“Part of the first wave of 5G opportunities is in the creation of jobs to support the network infrastructure,” said Singapore’s minister for communications and information, S. Iswaran, at ConnecTechAsia 2020. “We expect the demand for 5G professionals to continue to grow as the 5G rollout gathers momentum and more enterprises participate in the ecosystem.”

To ensure Singapore has a strong pipeline of talent who are ready to hit the ground, IMDA will appoint a consortium comprising the National University of Singapore and Singapore Polytechnic as the 5G and telecoms programme manager.

Iswaran said the consortium will coordinate programmes to develop skills across Singapore’s 5G ecosystem including telcos, enterprises and technology firms. A total of 5,000 5G professionals are expected to be trained over the next three years.

“We will continue to work closely with the industry to equip our workforce with the right skills so that our workers can secure good jobs as demand grows in emerging tech areas like 5G,” he said.

“A strong and skilled workforce, together with our 5G infrastructure and trials, are essential to expand Singapore’s capacity for innovation. Our investments will stand us in good stead to capitalise on the exponential growth in the digital economy to come.”

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Singapore has been conducting several 5G trials to speed up innovation in its economic sectors. To date, there are six consortia testing 5G applications in areas such as smart estates to consumer gaming.

The most recent trial was announced in May 2020 by a consortium comprising IMDA, IBM, Samsung and M1, to test the use of 5G in manufacturing and other industries.

Iswaran said the consortium’s Industry 4.0 studio has been constructed, and that the development of 5G use cases is in progress, with advances in areas including visual recognition, augmented reality, acoustics and analytics.

“Singapore will continue to push the boundaries of 5G applications through these trials to transform our economic sectors, and build a competitive edge,” he added.

Singapore’s largest telco, Singtel, and a joint venture formed by the next two biggest players, StarHub and M1, will operate the country’s first 5G networks, which are expected to cover at least half of Singapore by the end of 2022.

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