Cisco Collaborates With GSMA to Launch Skills Initiative for Mobile Industry Technology Professionals

Development of Networking Skills Will Help Mobile Service Providers Capture New Market Opportunities

(PresseBox) ( Barcelona, )
Mobile World Congress -- Cisco® (NASDAQ: CSCO) today is announcing a new initiative that will help technology professionals at mobile service providers advance their careers by developing Internet Protocol (IP) networking skills. The program, created in conjunction with the GSM Association (GSMA), aims to help engineers use the power of Internet technologies to deploy new IP-based services that allow customers to collaborate anywhere, anytime.

As mobile networks help drive economic growth around the world, the need for talent continues to grow as well. IDC research sponsored by Cisco indicates significant skills gaps from now until 2009. In Western and Eastern Europe, shortages are concentrated around advanced technology skills(1) while in the Middle East, Pakistan and South Africa, predicted demand in 2009 for all networking skills exceeds supply by over 40 percent in some places and by over 30 percent in most(2). As a result, service providers need to ensure they have the in-house skills to deliver new IP-based services that generate new revenue streams by helping improve people´s ability to live the connected life.

"There is an increasing demand for people who have experience provisioning and managing IP networks within the mobile industry," said Charles Vilakazi, Roaming Specialist from Vodacom Group (Pty) Ltd. "As the Internet increasingly becomes the foundation for mobile communications, the Cisco and GSMA initiative will provide technology professionals with an opportunity to learn valuable new skills that help them take full advantage of IP to reduce operational costs and deliver new services to customers."

The first course is specifically designed to help professionals at mobile service providers learn the principles of IP networking and methods of integrating Internet data services into the mobile environment. Cisco is developing the course in collaboration with the GSMA´s Inter-Working Roaming Expert Group (IREG), and mobile service providers. Following the testing phase, Cisco will communicate program delivery information to service providers globally.

"The GSMA is working closely with Cisco to develop the new course, engaging with mobile operators and helping to establish the topics that needed to be covered," said Robindhra Mangtani, director at the GSMA. "This is a valuable initiative for our members. It helps enable them to take full advantage of the enhanced revenue-generating services provided by the GSM and 3G WCDMA standards as well as the use of mobile IP exchanges such as GRX and IPX."

The Introduction to Data Communications and GSM Technologies course is currently being tested with engineers at mobile service providers and was recently delivered at the GSMA´s IREG plenary session in Seattle and 3GSM Asia in Macau.

"The coming together of two worlds, cellular and IP technology, has created a wealth of opportunity for service providers," said Julie Tran, engineer at Wireless Solutions International, a provider of consulting services to mobile service providers. "This new training initiative from Cisco and the GSMA will help expand IP skills within the industry globally, helping to drive increasing efficiency in the deployment of networks and the availability of exciting new mobile services."

"The demand for new IP skills is growing as the notion of mobility changes. It´s no longer just about cell phones; it´s about being able to communicate where and when you want, be it sharing a video recorded on your mobile phone with friends sitting in front of their television in real time to joining a TelePresence conference via your personal webcam," said Jeff Spagnola, vice president of service provider marketing at Cisco. "Mobility is integral to enabling people to collaborate effectively, which in turn will inspire a new wave of productivity."

Technology professionals interested in getting further information about Cisco´s training initiatives can visit:

(1) IDC White Paper sponsored by Cisco, "Networking Skills in Europe: Will an Increasing Shortage Hamper Competitiveness in the Global Market?," Doc # CG21M, September 2005.

(2) IDC White Paper sponsored by Cisco, "Networking Skills in the Middle East and Pakistan: Will an Increasing Shortage Hinder Growth in the Region?," May 2006.
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