SINGAPORE: A total of 1,000 professionals will be hired or reskilled to support Singapore’s 5G rollout, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said on Tuesday (Sep 29).
Of the 1,000 positions, 300 are new roles, while the remaining will be filled by telecom professionals who will be upskilled in the areas of 5G network, cybersecurity and solution engineering.
“The demand for 5G professionals is expected to grow as Singapore’s 5G rollout gathers momentum and more enterprises participate in the ecosystem,” said IMDA, who has partnered with Singapore’s mobile network operators to hire and reskill the professionals.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has "accelerated the push towards digitalisation", said Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran on Tuesday at the ConnecTech Asia event.
“Singapore has committed to invest substantially in 5G, because of the exciting opportunities it will bring businesses, workers and individuals,” he said.
"Its higher bandwidth, lower latency and dynamic network capabilities will unlock novel applications that were not previously possible.
"New products and services in areas like autonomous vehicles and robotics, the Internet of Things and augmented reality will create new revenue streams that are expected to add US$2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034.
"Enterprises must seize the opportunity to innovate and build business value in these promising areas."
Under the TechSkills Accelerator initiative, IMDA has set up 5G Workforce Transformation Committees with mobile network operators to oversee the planning and development of their 5G workforce capabilities, said the authority.
“These committees will identify the talent requirements of our (mobile network operators), across diverse functions such as 5G networking, cybersecurity, and solution engineering,” Mr Iswaran added.
“At the same time, we want to ensure that we have a strong pipeline of talent who are ready to hit the ground running.”
IMDA will also be appointing a consortium comprising the National University of Singapore and Singapore Polytechnic as the 5G and Telecoms Programme Manager.
The consortium will coordinate programmes to develop skills across the "5G ecosystem", including mobile network operators, end-user enterprises and technology companies, said Mr Iswaran.
“The plan is to work with the industry and equip a total of 5,000 professionals over the next three years to develop a strong, 5G skilled workforce,” IMDA added.
Training with the mobile network operators will start at the end of this year.
“Talent development is the next critical phase of our investment in 5G,” said IMDA chief executive Lew Chuen Hong.
“This effort extends Singapore’s momentum in 5G following our investment in building infrastructure capabilities.
“We have worked with the local (mobile network operators) to unlock the potential of 5G for these 1,000 professionals and will continue to do so to create good jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans.”
Mr Iswaran added that a “strong and skilled workforce”, together with 5G infrastructure and trials, are “essential to expand Singapore’s capacity for innovation”.
READ: Singapore on track to roll out 5G by 2025; Singtel, StarHub-M1 joint venture issued final awards
In June, Mr Iswaran said Singapore was on track to offer nationwide 5G coverage by 2025, after Singtel and a joint venture by StarHub and M1 were issued final awards to operate networks in the country.