Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea were tipped to grow their combined workforce by up to 25 per cent in the year to end-March 2024, driven by 5G launches and 4G expansion, The Economic Times (ET) reported.

Sekhar Garisa, chief executive of recruiting company FoundIt, told ET 5G is a major driver of job growth.

The newspaper reported staff levels grew 35 per cent in the year to end-March, reversing declines in the previous year.

ET cited operators’ annual reports to state Jio’s headcount at end-March was 95,300, Bharti Airtel’s 64,400 and Vodafone Idea’s 15,600.

Jio completed a nationwide rollout of 5G service across multiple spectrum bands ahead of a target of end-December.

ET estimated Jio’s 5G coverage reached 6,258 cities and towns at end-July, while Bharti Airtel covered more than 5,000 cities.

The publication pegged Jio’s 5G base station count at 254,000 and Airtel’s at 60,000.

This week, Vodafone Idea CEO Akshaya Moondra noted in earnings documents it is holding talks with various network vendors to finalise its 5G rollout strategy.