InTele – An initiative for telecommunications

By Luís M. Correia, professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico

Contemporary society is experiencing dizzying change and the emergence of new technologies that increasingly favor its development, particularly in the field of telecommunications and more specifically 5G. This situation forces a growing link between the production of knowledge and its application to society, that is to say between universities and companies, without which development at the national level will take place at a slower pace than in other countries. other countries with which we have close relations, with consequences in Portugal.

In recent decades, the field of telecommunications has experienced the fastest and most disruptive evolution. There is an idea that this sector only concerns antennas and cables, in addition to certain computers. This is a misperception that is important to change. Currently, in addition to traditional subjects, telecommunications is closely linked to information technology and data science, as well as specific applications for the most varied economic sectors; this list is easily supplemented by augmented and virtual realities, interactive games, smart cities, the internet of things and industry 4.0, among others.

The emergence of 5G, and its foreseeable expansion at an accelerated rate in the years to come, will mean that companies are positioned to meet this challenge. Nowadays, the existence of computer networks is transversal to all companies, requiring the presence of qualified people in their staff to manage and maintain these networks (or hire these services). It should not be exaggerated to think that with the expansion of 5G, a similar situation will arise regarding this communication system, that is, in the near future, all companies will have to expand to 5G the needs they already have with their network computer.

It is therefore clear that qualified and quality human resources are needed, with training at master’s level, with basic knowledge adequate to the requirements of professional careers in the field of telecommunications. Initially, these human resources will tend to be integrated by companies active in this field (which will continue to contribute, through their activity, to strengthening the competitiveness of the economy), but then they will probably be absorbed by all other economic sectors.

To meet this challenge, Técnico, in partnership with 10 of the largest companies operating in telecommunications in Portugal, is launching InTele (An Initiative for Telecommunications), whose main objective is to attract students and improve working conditions. education in this area.

Thus, ALTICE, CELFINET, CISCO, ERICSSON, HUAWEI, INFINERA, NOKIA, NOS, THALES and VODAFONE, will sponsor activities at different levels, from scholarships to awards for the best students and joint Master’s theses supported by scholarships, and encompassing pairing, hackathons and soft-skills training, among others. This initiative also benefits from the support of the three research and development and innovation institutes included in Técnico that operate in the field of telecommunications, namely INESC-INOV, INESC-ID and IT.

We therefore hope to take up the challenge of training qualified Human Resources in Telecommunications for the needs of the country in the years to come, allowing companies to respond equally to the challenges they face in terms of economic development, especially in the current conditions. , where the improvement of manufacturing processes, efficiency gains and the development of new services have taken on an even more relevant dimension.

(This article is subscribed by Luis M. Correia (Technical), João Zúquete da Silva (ALTICE), Nuno Ribeiro (CELFINET), Miguel Almeida (CISCO), Sofia Vaz Pires (ERICSSON), Tony Li (HUAWEI), Gonçalo Crispim ( INFINERA), Sérgio Catalão (NOKIA), Miguel Almeida (NOS), João Araújo (THALES) and Paulino Corrêa (VODAFONE)).

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