What skills are Singapore telcos looking for?
The huge global demand for smartphones and tablets has put telecommunications companies under more pressure to extend their networks.
Industry experts labelled 2013 as the "year of the mobile", as the number of smart devices being shipped around the world reached new highs. While smartphone and tablet sales growth is predicted to slow down in the coming years, there is still an urgent need for network providers to accommodate the vast amounts of mobile data that people are using.
This means many firms will be in a position to hire more experienced professionals who can help to ensure networks run as smoothly as possible.
What is happening in Singapore?
According to analysts at technology market specialist ABI Research, global mobile internet service revenue was estimated to have grown to $300 billion in 2013 - a 23.4% increase on the previous year. Worldwide wireless broadband subscriptions increased by 28.8% over the same period.
By October 2013, 1.69 million people in Singapore had signed up to contracts that enabled them to access 4G networks, Telecompaper reports. This was up from 1.57 million in the previous month - a clear indication that these fast wireless connections are becoming more popular in the Southeast Asian country.
Although some major corporations have already started to invest in 5G technology, it is likely that telecommunications professionals will spend a lot of their time developing and maintaining 4G networks in 2014.
SingTel reacts to growing data demand
Major Singapore-based telecommunications service provider SingTel has responded to the growing demand for mobile data by launching a new prepaid mobile phone tariff that allows customers to access their Facebook account without incurring excessive data charges.
This is the latest example of a company introducing special offers that appeal specifically to mobile internet users. Johan Buse, SingTel's Vice President of Consumer Marketing, confirmed the plan is compatible with Android, Windows, iOS and Blackberry smartphones and tablets.
"Many of our customers are avid Facebook users who frequently access the site via their smartphones and tablets," he commented.
"Customers can also be assured of the best possible Facebook experience on-the-move with SingTel's award-winning 3G and 4G networks, which offer the fastest mobile speeds in Singapore."
While these offers are likely to prove popular, SingTel must ensure it has the capability to upgrade its wireless networks accordingly. Engineers will be required to monitor bandwidth allocation very closely and contractors who have experience of rolling out 3G and 4G networks will prove to be very valuable.
As more people sign up for mobile phone and data packages, it is inevitable that businesses will receive more feedback from customers. It is important that firms have a designated team of troubleshooters who can provide expert advice to customers and fix any issues that may arise.
The rise of the cloud
Cloud computing is something most people would immediately associate with the IT sector, but telecommunications companies are also becoming more reliant on this technology.
In a recent article published by Channel News Asia, Foong King Yew, Research Vice-President of Communications Service Provider Research at Gartner, said: "Moving forward, as we see businesses start to adopt cloud computing, more applications [will be made] available online, the critical role played by network infrastructure will only grow in importance."
With more data being stored in the cloud, it is vital that telecommunications firms have access to a pool of talented employees who have used this technology in the past.
It is clear that companies operating in the Singaporean telecommunications field will need to make additions to their teams in 2014.
Engineers who have worked on 2G and 3G networks in the past can use their skills to ensure the ongoing rollout of 4G services is successful. With 5G connections expected to emerge in the not-too-distant future, the demand for these highly-skilled and experienced workers is likely to keep growing.
There is also an urgent need for cloud computing specialists, as more firms are providing consumer-based cloud storage options. Apple's popular iCloud offering is a good example of this trend.
Customer service centres are also likely to expand in the coming months, as companies will inevitably encounter problems as network traffic increases. Professionals who have experience working in customer-facing roles - but still have a strong technological skill set - will prove to be valuable team members.