The shortlist for this year's Broadband World Forum 2017 People’s Choice Award features a diverse array of industry executives from around the world. The line-up represents broadband professionals from a wide range of companies, highlighting the market's breadth and depth.
This year's nominees include accomplished individuals from multinational telecom firms, mobile phone operators, fiber network operators and builders as well as a hybrid TV platform.
The People's Choice Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of an individual working in the broadband industry. Peers in the broadband industry will vote in the run-up to the Broadband World Forum 2017, which is being held in Berlin from October 24-26; the winner will be announced at the Gala Awards event on October 25.
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The executives vying for the prestigious People's Choice Award this year are:
Dalia Jamil Saleh Al Hassani, Section Head of Radio Solution Design, Ooredoo Oman
Emre Bertan, Lead Product Manager, Turkcell
Erling Gudmundsson, Chief Executive, Gagnaveita Reykjavikur (Reykjavik Fibre Network)
Trevor Linney, Head of Access Research, BT
Fani Sazaklidou, Executive Creative and Brand Director, YouView
Asim Tewary, Vice President, Data Science and Analytics, Verizon
BT Managing Director and Chief Architect Neil McRae -- who nominated BT's Trevor Linney -- said his colleague has driven the pace of Gfast development by working across the industry. He added: "Trevor has done a huge amount of work in the research space -- ensuring that Gfast and other technologies such as long-range VDSL come to the market in way that makes economic sense."
To vote for Trevor Linney,
Erling Gudmundsson, chief executive of Icelandic fiber network operator and builder Gagnaveita Reykjavikur is also in the running for this year's award. Gudmundsson, nominated by Pioneering Leadership Academy Founder Jonathan Blain, has been part of the broadband industry for more than 20 years, having begun his career as a technician installing fiber optics before moving on to build FTTx open access networks in Reykjavik.
Blain said: "Erling joined the broadband industry in the early days of FTTx in Iceland in 1999. He ascended to managing one of those providers, experiencing countless challenges and triumphs along the way. His life story is intertwined with the development of the fiber optic industry and broadband. The thread linking everything he has done is a vigorous passion for broadband and a genuine belief that broadband and fiber networks are vital to making the world a better place. His passion, energy and enthusiasm for broadband and fiber networks and services is contagious."
In 2015, Gudmundsson returned as CEO of Gagnaveita Reykjavikur, the company he first worked for when he laid down fiber optics. He has since led the company to achieve 100% FTTH penetration across Reykjavik by offering 1,000 Mbit/s symmetrical connections to Icelandic homes and businesses with an open access network that is available to all service providers.
To vote for Erling Gudmundsson,
YouView Executive Creative and Brand Director Fani Sazaklidou was nominated by Lisa Wakefield, head of brand and communications at the TV platform. She said that Sazaklidou had overseen the successful redesign of YouView's set-top box and mobile apps UI, dramatically increasing both CSAT scores and the amount of video consumed on the YouView platform.
“The innovative UI has been attributed as a strong success story for YouView's Shareholders and ISPs, BT and TalkTalk with the simplicity and ease-of-use of the UI re-energising our customer base,” said Wakefield. “The overall impact has been a 6% increase in video content consumed and a strong increase in customer satisfaction. Many industry analysts and journalists have strongly praised the design of the UI and it has been shortlisted and won several industry accolades.”
To vote for Fani Sazaklidou,
Emre Bertan, lead product manager for mobile phone operator Turkcell, said of his nomination that he enjoyed "taking part in the creation of a product or service that uses cutting-edge technologies and collaborating with like-minded people." During his career, Bertan has successfully delivered numerous award-winning projects in different roles across ICT, R&D software development, marketing and product management.
To vote for Emre Bertan,
Dalia Jamil Saleh Al Hassani, section head of radio solution design at Omani telecommunications company Ooredoo Oman, is the second woman to join the list of nominees. Al Hassani has worked in the telecom field for the past 12 years, becoming the first woman engineer working on 3G in Sultanate of Oman -- her full experience now encompasses in 2G, 3G and 4G. She has since started to explore 5G along with mobile fixed networks through LTE-TDD.
To vote for Dalia Jamil Saleh Al Hassani,
The final nominee on this year's list is Asim Tewary, who is vice president of data science and analytics for Verizon. Tewary's transformational leadership has driven engagement and measurable business value across all of US multinational telecommunications' business divisions with disruptive innovation using big data analytics and machine learning.
As a respected strategist and technology leader, Tewary has demonstrated that data monetization does not happen on its own -- it requires the extensive domain knowledge, charisma and perseverance of an experienced executive.
To vote for Asim Tewary,
Commenting on this year's line-up of nominees, Heather James, portfolio director at KNect365, said: "The diverse selection of this year's nominees for the Broadband World Forum's People's Choice Award demonstrate how the broadband industry is growing to tackle the challenges of ensuring internet access reaches every region of the world. At KNect365, we are pleased to be hosting this event that brings together the leading innovators, experts and technology in the broadband industry under one roof, and we looked forward to finding out who the broadband industry picks as the winner of this year's People's Choice Award."
Voting for the People's Choice Award opens on Monday 25 September. The full shortlist for the 13 categories in this year’s Broadband World Forum Awards will also be announced on Monday.
— Niall Hunt, Digital Lead, Content & Communities, KNect365. Follow him on Twitter @Niall_Hunt and learn more about Broadband World Forum here.