Wireless Group Points to Wider Ecosystem in Job Creation

Susan Hall

When I wrote about The Wall Street Journal article the other day about the decline in wireless jobs, I found it hard to distinguish between true wireless jobs and merely those with carriers that offer both wireless and landline connections. While it's true that telecoms have been shedding large numbers of jobs in recent years, something about the story seemed off. I definitely should trust my gut more.


In a blog post in response to the Journal article, though, Fred Campbell of the Wireless Communications Association International, makes the point that the carriers aren't the whole story.


Just as a whole ecosystem has sprung up around Facebook and created a wealth of jobs, so has wireless. Campbell, the global trade association's president and CEO, writes:

The broader wireless industry continues to expand and add jobs, including application and software developers, content providers, infrastructure companies, and equipment and device manufacturers.
To sustain the explosive wireless demand America is experiencing (think apps, video, live streaming, etc.), wireless providers continue to invest in network upgrades and infrastructure development. Meanwhile, the federal government is working on a proposal to free additional spectrum to enable continued growth in mobility and further fuel innovation. This all translates to jobs - from constructing next-generation, 4G LTE wireless networks spanning the country to startups developing the latest in wireless tools and applications.

Campbell isn't saying that the Journal's numbers are wrong, just that there's more to it than that:

... one thing for certain is that it only presents a limited view of the wireless ecosystem, since it only recognizes employment within the wireless operator category. Demand, innovation and growth within the ecosystem is exploding, and what is clear is that the wireless communications industry and investment in mobile broadband across the nation will remain one of the primary drivers of job creation and economic recovery in our country.

In line with that, the Communications Workers of America, the union you surely wouldn't expect to sell its members down the river, supports AT&T's takeover of T-Mobile. It says the new AT&T would generate about 100,000 jobs through a promised $8 billion in investment in its LTE network.

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