The National - News

Digital shift to 5G puts pressure on companies to be ready for future jobs

- Alvin Cabral

The Covid-19 pandemic has put pressure on companies to remain proactive and resilient in anticipati­on of future industries and jobs that revolve around fifth-generation (5G) cellular technology, an executive at consultanc­y PwC said.

The technology has become an enabler of how companies think about the future of their products and how to deal with customers, Mohammed Kande, vice chairman and global advisory leader at PwC told the Global Manufactur­ing and Industrial­isation Summit in Dubai.

This would entail new roles, which companies will have fill to bridge gaps in operations.

“What is interestin­g and intriguing is what new companies are going to be created in the future because of 5G, those that do not exist today and what is the next innovation of jobs to be created. It is just the beginning, and this would create much more value in much more companies,” Mr Kande said.

The pandemic has hastened the digital transforma­tion of the private sector globally. However, there have been misconcept­ions, with 5G perceived as only capable of supporting faster communicat­ions and data downloads.

Several cases surroundin­g its use have proved its viability in several sectors over the past few years, most notably in transport, health care, education, energy, mission-critical communicat­ions, smart cities and even climate change applicatio­ns.

In 2020, mobile technology and services generated $4.4 trillion of economic value, equal to 5.1 per cent of global gross domestic product, the GSM Associatio­n said in its Mobile Economy 2021 report. That figure is expected to grow by $480 billion to about $5 trillion by 2025.

In manufactur­ing, mobile 5G technology can lead to higher flexibilit­y, lower costs and shorter lead times for factory floor production reconfigur­ation, according to Swedish network equipmnt maker Ericsson.

The technology has the ability to revolution­ise how products are manufactur­ed and, in conjunctio­n with the Internet of Things, can connect every part of the manufactur­ing process within and outside the factory, leading to improved customer experience and increased productivi­ty.

The Progressiv­e Policy Institute projects that 5G will create 309,000 new jobs in the next 15 years. “We have seen that smartly connected industries can both advance companies and spearhead their competitiv­eness but, more importantl­y, spearhead entire industries,” Asa Tamsons, senior vice president and head of business area technology at Ericsson, said at GMIS.

“In the context of climate change, we need it to reduce emissions, too.”

With the adoption of 5G, businesses and policymake­rs are prioritisi­ng the need to identify internatio­nal co-operation opportunit­ies to sustain economic growth, especially in the era of climate action.

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