Corning and Qualcomm partner on in-building 5G
We’re all familiar with the prospect of losing our connection to mobile data when heading into a building. As the faster implementations of 5G make use of higher frequencies than 4G, ensuring coverage is even more important than before.
It’s a problem that two United States-based technologies, Corning and Qualcomm, are hoping to address, having announced a partnership to build in-building 5G infrastructure using the fastest mmWave spectrum of frequencies.
“Corning has decades of experience designing, installing, and conditioning advanced cellular networks,” said Michelle Engarto, vice president, wireless product line management, Corning Optical Communications. “Our experience in network design and knowledge of varying and distinct customer requirements will benefit customers as we navigate the complexities associated with 5G mmWave indoors. By combining the technology leadership and experience from Corning and Qualcomm Technologies, we aim to offer a compelling and affordable solution for 5G mmWave systems specifically developed with the enterprise in mind.”
Using Corning’s networking technology and Qualcomm’s 5g mmWave capabilities, the two said they were working on providing the infrastructure to both enterprises and public buildings, including offices, university campuses, hospitals, hotels and shopping centres.
“Corning and Qualcomm Technologies have a history of delivering infrastructure innovation spanning LTE, LTE-U/LAA, CBRS, and more,” said Puneet Sethi, Qualcomm’s senior director, product management. “We are now pleased to be ramping our fruitful relationship with Corning into the 5G era. We expect this marriage of Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G mmWave technology leadership with Corning’s industry-proven small-cell and enterprise expertise to deliver the capacity and performance benefits of 5G mmWave indoors, via development of cost effective, powerful, and scalable 5G mmWave infrastructure.”
In its own press release, Qualcomm highlighted its role at the forefront of the 5G introduction, having worked with the likes of Samsung, Verizon and Rakuten in their own 5G endeavours.
The Talent War for Skilled Tech Workers
Post-pandemic, our biggest problem might be a lack of skilled tech talent. As companies move forward with their digital transformation plans, they aim to hire new staff and train their current employees. Out of 750 UK companies polled in a Studio Graphene digital report, 45% plan to hire new tech staff in the next 12 months and more than half (53%) intend to invest in training for their current workers.
Companies are realising that their survival now depends on a limited pool of qualified technology workers. Among the hardest-hit economies are those in Brazil, Indonesia, and Japan, but even the United States and the UK will experience the squeeze. “It’s pure supply and demand”, said Alan Guarino, a Korn Ferry vice-chairman. “Companies are paying more...but there’s still a shortage of high-skilled workers. Technology is the thread that runs across every aspect of business”.
Which Jobs Are In Demand?
According to a 2021 IT salary report by Robert Half Technology, the most in-demand tech jobs of the year include information security professionals, cloud architects, database administrators, systems analysts, and DevOps engineers, among others. But in those fields, it’s difficult to find hires with significant experience, multiple specialisations, and a high level of expertise. And multinationals such as Google, Apple, and IBM usually scoop them up.
Regardless of the exact role, companies need workers who can implement advanced security systems, target cloud and network vulnerabilities, document risk points and failures, and abide by new industry tech regulations. This will likely mean that companies start to take certifications like the ones pioneered by Google and Amazon, instead of insisting on four-year undergraduate degrees.
But even as coding boot camps and year-long certification programmes have ramped up to try to close the gap, smaller tech firms and startups struggle to compete with their bigger counterparts. Remote work doesn’t help matters. “Hire-from-anywhere policies will only heat up a tight candidate market”, said Ryan Sutton, a district president of technology staffing services at Robert Half. “Companies who were already having a hard time recruiting are no longer just working against local competitors, but potentially desirable companies across the country”.
How Can CIOs Solve the Crisis?
As governments try to do their part—Poland offers residency and potential citizenship to skilled tech workers, India offers broad IT, telecommunications, and cybersecurity programmes, and the Netherlands lets its foreign employees earn 30% tax-free income—company executives must take measures of their own.
Some CIOs have started looking to other countries to source expert talent. In the United States, where 80% of U.S. employers state that tech recruiting is a significant challenge, some firms are looking to Mexico, where 20% of college graduates have engineering degrees. As a result, tech companies such as Cisco and Intel have sourced labour from both the U.S. and Mexico.
To compete, here are some first steps:
- Invest in cybersecurity and cloud development training programmes
- Hire based on skills and expertise, not necessarily degrees
- Outsource to other countries with high percentages of skilled engineers and programmers
Overall, companies that broaden their search for talent and upskill their current employees will be best equipped for digital transformation. As Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene, said: “Our research shows that, on the whole, UK businesses have adopted a long-term mindset [towards] technology and innovation”.