The introduction of Next Generation Networks (NGNs) will transform the telecommunications industry by replacing PSTN networks with entirely IP (Internet Protocol) based technology allowing voice, video and data to be provided over a single connection. By doing so, it will continue the process of radical change within the industry which began twenty years ago with the emergence of deregulation and digitalisation. The employment consequences have been dramatic within the historic, incumbent providers: employment has declined by over 60 percent in many companies, skill requirements have changed, and customer service centres have developed.
The introduction of NGNs has the potential to have even more dramatic effects on employment and skills of all workers within the telecommunications industry. While employment is certain to decline substantially within the core network providers, new employment opportunities will emerge elsewhere. However, an analysis of the changing skill content of new jobs suggests fundamental change for both technicians and potentially within customer service centres depending on the evolution of corporate strategies. The research reported here is based on extensive primary field work within the telecommunications industry in Britain rather than being based on assumptions or theoretical models about the consequences of new technology for work and skills. The implications are of fundamental concern for societies because they impact the distribution of skills within and between countries, therefore also impacting the future distribution of income.
|Keywords:||Telecommunications, Employment, Skills, Labor Relations, Strategy|
Lecturer and Fellow, Said Business School, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
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