A dynamic industry that generates more jobs, telecom is the fastest growing sector globally.

Can you imagine a life without mobile phones? Or even a life without the Internet? Sounds impossible, right? It’s understandable because much of our modern lives — both personal and professional — depends heavily on technology and the convenience it provides. But from just being a convenience, Telecom technology, specifically telephone services, mobile phones, mobile and broadband Internet have evolved to become almost a basic need for many of us. What started as a way to communicate between people has now evolved to a mobile office, entertainment on demand and social networks as constant companions. Any modern technology that helps two or more people or businesses to communicate can be considered an integral part of the Telecommunication (Telecom) Sector.

Apart from enabling personal communication, the telecom sector has gone a long way in enabling businesses and organisations to effectively communicate between themselves. Improved organisational management has been made possible. For example, how does your favourite fast food restaurant order ingredients in time and track delivery?

How do the world’s busiest airports coordinate and manage arrivals and departures of hundreds of flights everyday? Telecom makes all this possible. With all this said, it comes as no surprise that telecommunication is not just making our personal lives and businesses better, but at a macro level it is also enabling our cities and countries, as a whole, to become smarter and more efficient. Cities and municipalities are now coming up with new ways of improving lives using telecom networks. ICT is short for Information and Communications Technology and is serving as the backbone for many newly planned cities and townships. It acts as the central nervous system of a city and governs several systems like healthcare, education and utilities. Some global examples include Amsterdam Smart City and the Dubai Smart City. In India Smart City Kochi is being developed with similar objectives.

Understanding the industry

So, what are big company names that come to mind when we think of the Telecommunications vertical? If you guessed Airtel, Reliance and Vodafone you have barely scratched the surface! While these are leaders in the Mobile Network Operator segment, the Telecom vertical consists of a variety of companies that offer a unique range of products or services across the board. There are companies that range from telecom equipment makers like Cisco, Qualcomm and Nokia to companies that focus on providing the end customer with value added services like Onmobile and One 97. What are all these companies focusing on? 4G is the latest stage in the evolution of mobile, wireless broadband or high-speed wireless networking. It is the next global standard from 3G service and the move to 4G will drive large investments in a new network architecture. Machine-to-machine or M2M technology is also a hot topic in the telecom space. It refers to 'connected devices' — an emerging area in telecom technology where communication between two devices can be remotely managed or monitored through a central server. Imagine if a medical device is able to diagnose a health problem in a clinic, sends an electronic prescription to a pharmacy which in turn automatically delivers it to your home and debits your card. This is the sort of automation M2M offers. Then of course there are Mobile Value Added Services or MVAS. With calls getting cheaper and cheaper, companies are focussing on new and innovative ways to service the end customer. Mobile entertainment is most in demand today.

In conclusion, the Telecom industry offers a wide range of opportunities to people in core engineering disciplines like electronics, software and mechanical engineering. There are 1,000s of companies today that are focussing on the application development market and are looking for people with strong android development and design skills. Application development courses are readily available on the internet and allow individuals to develop this skill regardless of the engineering discipline.

In fact the Telecom ecosystem has reached a level of maturity that allows independent developers to create and monetise on their own applications, be it games or business applications. Then there are large companies that focus on building networking, switching and transmission products that have established R&D facilities in India and are hiring a large number of Electrical and Electronics engineers locally.

India has the fastest growing mobile services market in the world and is expected to have the second largest internet user base in the coming years, with such rapid growth in customer demand, the telecom industry holds tremendous potential for highly skilled engineers.

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Know your jobJuly 21, 2013