The Cooper Fitch Salary Guide for Telecommunications represents the predicted market-rate salary ranges for new recruits across the UAE for 2020.
Market rate salary ranges in the UAE telecommunications industry rose by 2% on average in 2019, suggesting a slow yet continuous increase in market salary ranges of 2% in 2020.
The industry has undergone macroeconomic and sector-wide shifts, which have impacted providers across all aspects of the industry, including vendor, carrier and internet service provider (ISP) verticals.
Among the challenges facing the industry globally as well as regionally, are a decline in voice revenues and decreasing termination rates, which are squeezing profits. Over-the-top (OTT) services, such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and Skype, are replacing voice and SMS as the primary method of communication for consumers and businesses, while the cannibalisation of traditional telecoms infrastructure by VoLTE and VoIP (voiceover-internet protocol) technologies is a further threat to traditional business models in this space.
Cutting costs will, therefore, be crucial for telcos in the years ahead, which could lower recruitment activity. At the same time, traditional telecoms providers are facing rising competition from new industry players that are snapping up UAE talent.
The drive to develop pioneering 5G and other emerging technologies will bring fresh opportunities for employment in telecoms, our experts say. The UAE’s state telcos, Etisalat and Du, are both trialling pilot 5G services and stand ready to invest more money in what could be a lucrative field. Soaring appetite for data services is another game-changer in the industry, and many telecoms organisations are investing heavily in strategies to monetise data.
Business growth in a challenging market will depend on two things. First, establishing new services and, two, gaining new customers by recruiting talent with a strong commercial background. The most indemand roles in 2020 will be carrier and enterprise sales and pre-sales professionals, especially in data.
Additionally, new roles are expected to be created as telecoms companies adopt other emerging technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) and advanced analytics. AI, in particular, will play a crucial role in telecoms development in the years ahead as it helps in automating and improving backoffice operations and customer interactions. For example, customer service chatbots, speech recognition and predictive maintenance are already in use in some of the biggest telcos around the world and are expected to be adopted in the UAE in future.
Candidates with commercial experience of 5G and IoT (Internet of Things) will continue to be in short supply, particularly among UAE nationals, our experts say. Telecoms job requisites have been open for longer than in the past due to the challenge of finding the right candidate, and many vendors, carriers and operators are targeting developed markets to recruit talent.
For candidates, the main drivers for changing jobs are career development prospects, as many have been in the same position for years, and, for international recruits, the opportunity to move to the UAE with its tax-free opportunities and appealing lifestyle.
With so many changes afoot, businesses are increasingly seeking new telecoms leaders with multiple skills including people management, business risk analysis and the flexibility to adapt the business as the goalposts change.
Download the full Telecommunications Salary Guide 2020 here
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