Tell us about your career history, how did you enter the industry?
After 40 years in electronics and telecommunications (mainly mobile) within 02 and its parent Telefonica, I chose to join the Department for International Trade as the Chief Scientific Adviser and the end of 2017. My mobile experience also included elected roles and Chairman of the Mobile Data Association (MDA), GSM Association (representing mobile operators worldwide) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET – during 2011/2012).
What have been your highlights from your career?
There are many highlights but I remember with great fondness launching 2G and 3G networks for Cellnet (before it became 02); the experience gained through UK cross-network texting (SMS) and the build up of the mobile content industry; the launch of the first mobile TV trial; and being part of the team that was first in the world to launch GPRS for packet based mobile email. This coupled with my international experience has helped grow the mobile market close to 9 billion customers globally, but more significantly opened up opportunities for everyone in the digital world.
As you know the telecoms industry is facing a skills gap, and the ITP believes apprenticeships are key, what are your thoughts on this topic and where do you believe the solution lies?
Digital knows no boundaries and talent is needed to propel it globally. Apprenticeships have always been vital for telecoms deployment and the need will continue for many years to come. What is more relevant now is the added requirement to understand data and services deployment in particular. Many opportunities remain for better online training and lifelong learning, in addition to traditional apprenticeships.
What does it mean to you to be an ITP Fellow?
I am honoured to be a Fellow of the ITP as it provides a great forum for the exchange of digital knowledge and the fruitful exchange of contacts. I find the opportunity for networking invaluable for both and I hope this will long remain the case.
Why should your peers become Fellows?
As a form recognition it is valuable within our industry. As a means of establishing collaborative programmes in research and innovation it is also very useful. The opportunity to meet experts in the digital arena will become ever more important in the world of Digital Services.
Find out more about the ITP Fellowship Programme.