Will the UK Government's Open RAN traffic target of 35% by 2030 boost telecommunications recruitment?
Recently mentioned in a Telecom TV article “The British government has increased the pressure on the UK’s mobile operators to adopt Open RAN architectures during the next decade by setting an aspirational target for the volume of total mobile traffic that should be running over ‘open and interoperable’ networks by 2030.” With this new target in place, Pendy Hou, Senior Account Manager at First Point Group’s London office, commented on the impact this may have on telecommunications recruitment.
“I’m optimistic that the volume of Open RAN jobs will increase over the next two years at least, but this will be dependent on the success of current deployments” commented Pendy. “However, the 35% figure quoted by the UK Government is a target, and to quote the article, not a ‘mandated quota’ thus no penalties will arise should the target not be achieved. It will be interesting to see how this affects companies Open RAN growth.”
So whilst telecommunications companies will continue to trial and possibly roll out Open RAN networks, there isn’t the pressure of having to do so with any legal or financial consequences; unlike the removal of Huawei 5G components from their networks where “the UK Government threatened telecommunications firms with hefty fines if they failed to comply with the new, higher security standards. They could total 10% of turnover or more than £100,000 per day” as quoted in this BBC News article.
Achieving the target
So will telecommunications companies exceed the target of 35% of the UK’s mobile network traffic to be carried over open and interoperable Radio Access Network (RAN) architectures by 2030? “It’s possible, but will require telecommunications organisations to have a massive push in recruitment and a large shift in technical emphasis.” commented Pendy. “The leader in Open RAN deployment is Vodafone who have committed to around 2,500 rural sites before 2027. As a comparison, Huawei delivered 1,000 5G sites for the UK in one year” he added.
The effect on Open RAN recruitment
Generally speaking, the engineers with Open RAN experience seem to be reasonably new in their current Open RAN jobs, so time will tell as to whether these candidates will look for new opportunities or be ready to move on to other Open RAN jobs in H1 2022. Pendy’s prediction for Open RAN recruitment, for the first half of 2022, is that on the whole it’s likely to remain the same but with the potential to increase at any point throughout the year. The real telling point will be when Open RAN becomes mainstream as opposed to being trialled, we have seen this in Japan and subsequently the demand for skills such as Software and Architecture Engineers with Telco experience increase greatly.
For more information about recruitment within the UK Open RAN market, contact Pendy Hou.