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Allaying fears of telecom captains, including Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani, IT and Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan today said in the next seven years, more than 25 million jobs could be created in digital infrastructure space. "If Internet of Things alone can create 10-15 million jobs, the digital infrastructure space will create more than 25 million jobs in next five to seven years, not only in telecom space, but in digital infrastructure space," she told PTI on the sidelines of IoT India Congress here. In an interview to a business daily in June, Ambani had said the telecom industry had cut 10,000 jobs last year and the stress would further lead to reducing 30,000 to 40,000 jobs more this year. Though the telecom sector is in consolidation and stabilisation phase, the Centre government believed in the huge potential of creating jobs, she said. "Just look at the scenario - we are still importing 90 per cent of our equipments from abroad. We still need a million wifi hotspots. There are requirements in cloud-based telecom services and many startups are catering these services. So, as far as jobs are concerned, there is huge potential. Just we need to start skilling people in all these new areas," she said. Updating skills in the midst of new emerging technologies was the most important anti-dote for tackling joblessness, she said. "When we say technology is disruptive, what do we mean? Some technologies and conventional jobs will disappear, but new technologies will appear. So, we have to keep ourselves updated on technological front," she said. Asked whether spectrum auction will happen by this year, Sundararajan said it all depended on TRAI recommendations. "TRAI has started their consultations.
Let us see what emerges from there. Sometimes, they complete the consultations pretty fast. We have seen it happening in two months also. It all depends upon what feedback the industry gets," she said. Replying to a query, Sundararajan said foreign players like Google and Facebook were already looking at investing in tower infrastructure and cloud-based services. "There are foreign players, for example like Google. They are interested in wifi hotspots. Facebook wants to come up with new technologies," she said.
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