Why you should consider advancing your career in telco — they’re still hiring

Telco services are more essential than ever in a pandemic. Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP

By U2B Staff 

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As we continue to ride the COVID-19 storm, the economic impact is being felt across more and more sectors. Nevertheless, there are a few that are able to weather the storm or even thrive in it during these unprecedented times.

Telecommunications, or telco,  is one of these sectors, despite conspiracy theories that claim 5G is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic – which have been discredited as a hoax

Experts are observing less financial impact compared to others, and it’s proving to be a resilient and essential industry as people around the world are relying heavily on these services to connect with colleagues, friends and family while in lockdown. 

Notably, tech giant Facebook recently invested $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms – India’s largest mobile telco provider – which gives them a 9.9% stake in the conglomerate. This is an indication of the strength of emerging markets like India when it comes to telecommunications (TMT). 

That being said, the telco industry is not without its challenges. Raffaele Giarda, Chair of Global Technology Media & Telecoms Industry Group, recently wrote in the COVID-19: A guide for the TMT sector report, “The impact of COVID-19 on TMT businesses is multi-faceted. Disruption to the TMT supply chain and labour shortages may be the most obvious immediate impact for the industry. 

“But clearly business impact goes beyond supply chain distress. For example, cancellations of major sporting and other events are affecting commercial broadcast networks that have paid significant sums for the broadcast rights and will also lose billions of dollars in advertising revenue. “

He also noted that the telecommunications industry may see delays in rolling out 5G products and services.

However, Giarda wrote that telecommunications companies are still playing a key role in “helping to fight the outbreak and are seeing increased demand for their products and services,” and that “the upside of the scale and reach of the industry is proving vital in helping to inform, entertain and keep connected those isolated by quarantine, in addition to enabling the significant upswing in remote working for an indefinite period.”


Telco providers are reporting traffic increases ranging from 30%-70% across mobile broadband, even jumping to 50%-100% fo fixed voice and broadband in countries with severe lockdown measures.

Additionally, the industry is also working closely with governments and regulators to assist vulnerable users in accessing more affordable internet and easing traffic problems on broadband networks from increased usage of video services.

More than ever, leaders and specialists in telecommunications are needed to help their companies stay afloat and address challenges faced by the industry under the current circumstances.

To succeed in a telecommunications company, you would need to have strong soft skills in communication, self-motivation, organisation, and agility – particularly at a time of disruption like the current pandemic.

For certain roles in telecommunications such as in IT and engineering, you would also need to upskill in cloud computing, IT support, network engineering, programming, and coding in order to meet industry demand. 

Upskilling yourself in online courses or postgraduate courses can help you hone these skills so you can be a more valuable asset to your current organisation – or help you stand out if you’re looking to switch to a new career in telecommunications in a volatile job market.