5G battle sparks hiring spree among wireless companies

Shelly Hagan and Scott Moritz
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In this Sept. 26, 2018, file photo visitors stand near a 5G logo at a display the PT Expo in Beijing. Wireless companies are ramping up hiring as they roll out 5G service in cities across the U.S.

Wireless companies are ramping up hiring as they roll out 5G service in cities across the U.S.

Job listings related to the fifth-generation mobile-phone service increased 12 percent in the past three weeks, according to data from the job search engine LinkUp. Carriers and their suppliers are in a rush to introduce the next-generation wireless technology, which boasts fast connection speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. Just last week, Verizon Communications Inc. became the first U.S. carrier to offer 5G phones, with service in two cities.

LinkUp analyzed close to 5 million job openings across 50,000 companies and counted those with either “5G” in the title or job description from March 15 through April 8. The top five companies hiring for 5G are: Verizon, Dish Network Corp., Nokia Oyj, Oath (owned by Verizon) and Xilinx Inc.

Verizon listed 188 jobs that met the criteria, the highest of any company, according to LinkUp. But for a company with more than 140,000 employees, Verizon’s current 5G hiring is relatively small, making up only 6 percent of total openings.

Chipmakers are also boosting up their 5G teams. At chipmaker Xilinx, the 117 5G job openings make up 36 percent of the company’s total listed vacancies. Qualcomm, which has about 15 percent of patents essential for 5G networks, posted 10 more 5G job openings in the past three weeks.

Minneapolis and Chicago are the first two cities where Verizon launched 5G, but that’s not where the company appears to be hiring. Instead, the New York, San Jose, Boston, Dallas and Washington metro areas showed the notable pickups in openings since March 15. The data could suggest which city may receive 5G service next, however part or all of that could be related to the locations of product-development offices.

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