Regional US operators facing staff, tech challenges - Mobile World Live

Regional US operators facing staff, tech challenges

20 SEP 2018

Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) CEO Steven Berry told Mobile World Live rural and regional US operators are looking to build better employee recruitment programmes to address a longstanding staffing challenge.

Berry explained attracting employees to live and work in the rural areas where CCA’s members operate has always been difficult and, with the millennial workforce on the rise, operators are looking for new ways to recruit and retain young talent.

“As we move into this new 5G era, you have different employees and different types of training requirements, so many of our carriers said: listen, we need an update on what are the human resources requirements in this new marketplace,” he said.

“Everyone is concerned about how do you obtain, retain and train employees in this fast-moving wireless world.”

The topic is just one of two new subjects CCA members asked to be addressed at the organisation’s forthcoming Annual Convention in October. The other is how smaller operators can adapt their retail presence for the future.

Like top-tier operators, Berry noted regional operators are seeing more customer activity online and recognise the need for stores to move beyond static displays.

Customers “want to know the services and capabilities of the phones,” and experience the features they see online in the real world. But, Berry said, many CCA members have not updated their outlets “in some time”, despite advances in technology including 4G, VoLTE and a pending surge in data use in the 5G era presenting “a whole different way of interfacing with the consumer”.

Other areas up for discussion include marketing; spectrum; policy; and network technologies including 5G, IoT, artificial intelligence and automation.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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