Recruiting and retaining top talent is the main challenge communications executives often cite, a hurdle growing in complexity as operators design and implement ultra-broadband networks with leading-edge technologies.
From software engineers to virtualization experts, big data analysts to automation professionals, providers are hiring specialists in multiple, integrated fields to help them leverage their ultra-broadband investments and generate new services, revenue streams and loyalty.
Efficiency, automation and improved operations will drive many operators' investments in 2017, wrote Craig Wiggington, US and Global Telecommunications sector leader at Deloitte. In addition, service providers need technologists proficient in integrating assets garnered via merger or acquisition, he said.
Because Orange Business -- which has about 8,000 "research and innovation" employees -- is heavily investing in software-defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), virtualization, security and software development are critical skills, Yves Bellego, director of spectrum strategy and planning at Orange, told UBB2020.
"The skillsets that are developing are related to security management and software. The latter to deliver the transformation of networks virtualization," he said. "Being active in research, standardization and network deployment, in Western, Eastern Europe and Africa, we can propose a large variety of job positions and evolution opportunities. As an example, someone can join Orange for a PhD and later contribute to a European research project, to worldwide standardization or evolve towards operational activities."
IP network engineers are vital to the ongoing success of DQE Communications, CEO Jim Morozzi told UBB2020. But it's also important that sales professionals understand the provider's services, the value it brings and how they're different from competitors, he said.
"They're a critical linchpin in trying to provide... [our] services to our customers going forward. Good, solid, quality project managers, project engineers, who can go get networks built, who can interact with customers and have them understand what they're going to need to do in order to be able to dig up a parking lot, put conduit in to put fiber into their building and work with property owners and all those kinds of things [are important]," Morozzi added. "We also need good sales people and I say that because we're not selling a product, it's a solution. It's helping that customer run their business. Connection to the Internet is critical today. Having solid data communications amongst 15 branch locations is absolutely necessary. Having a sales professional who can articulate that value proposition and do it properly is very important as well."
The industry already suffers a shortage of some specific skills, related to everything from deploying fiber to tech-focused, said Marty Rubin, president and CEO of Smart City in an interview. "We're going to realize we don't have a large enough workforce to get the job done -- there's a shortage of welders, network engineers," he said. "We need a greater emphasis on workplace education with more investment in community colleges. They’re prepared to give us the network engineers and welders we need but they're underfunded."
A quick skim of several operators' careers sections shows the plethora of openings and diverse needs related to ultra-broadband, fiber and interoperability.
On the Comcastcareers page are listings for jobs such as data engineer, senior automation engineer, senior cloud engineer, director of network engineering and vice president of field operations. Finally, AT&T has multiple openings on its jobs site; they include network engineer, network architect and sales executive for fiber to the building.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.