May 17, 2020

Softbank leverages Ericsson’s machine learning technology for network design

Tokyo
Tokai
SoftBank
Telecommunications
Jonathan Dyble
2 min
SoftBank
Leading Tokyo-based multinational SoftBank has announced that it has called upon Ericsson’s machine learning capabilities to aid the design and develo...

Leading Tokyo-based multinational SoftBank has announced that it has called upon Ericsson’s machine learning capabilities to aid the design and development of its advanced radio network in Tokai, Japan.

SoftBank utilised Ericsson’s service offering to group cells in clusters, taking data from these cells using machine learning techniques, whereby the firm was then able to reduce the network’s operational expenditure whilst also improving performance, cutting the lead time by 40%.

See also:

“We applied Ericsson's service on dense urban clusters with multi-band complexity in the Tokai region,” said Ryo Manda, Radio Technology Section Manager at the Tokai Network Technology Department of SoftBank. “The positive outcome exceeded our expectations and we are currently proceeding in other geographical areas with the same method and close cooperation with Ericsson.”

The process of doing this has been cited by Ericsson as being a “highly complex task” and a “tremendous challenge”. However, the success of the service allowed Softbank to automate its regional radio access network design.

“There is a huge potential for machine learning in the telecom industry and we have made significant investments in this technology,” said Peter Laurin, Head of Managed Services, Ericsson. “It is very exciting to see that the new methods have been successfully applied in SoftBank's network.

In the aim of furthering the application and usage of machine learning within the telecommunications industry, Ericsson is looking to develop use cases at its Artificial Intelligence Lab, hosted in both Japan and Sweden.

Share article

Jun 10, 2021

The Talent War for Skilled Tech Workers

CIO
Technology
HR
covid-19
Elise Leise
3 min
CIOs and recruiters battle over programmers, cybersecurity professionals, and cloud architects, as the need for skilled tech workers hits an all-time high

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”.

Share article