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Get to know Kushal Shah:

Business Development Director, Mobile – BT Wholesale

We’re proud of our people. The BT Wholesale team comprises incredible individuals making it a unique and exciting place to work. We spoke to Kushal Shah, Business Development Director, Mobile, to find out about his role, what he enjoys beyond the workplace, and to help you put a face to the name.

What do you do at BT?

“I work in BT’s Wholesale division, leading on Business Development within the Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) product line. 

This means I’m responsible for bringing new MVNO partners on board to sell mobile services under their own brand into various segments of the market, including consumer, business, corporate, and M2M and IoT. 

My role is to prospect and secure new opportunities and form great partnerships. Various members of the team support me in this mission, and I couldn’t do it without them.”

What’s the best thing about your job?

“It’s the market-facing side of the role. I’ve been in telecoms my entire career, and I don’t think I’ll ever leave – it’s such a dynamic industry, and its technology is moving at such a fast rate. 

I remember buying my first mobile phone and being amazed at its SMS capability; today, you can truly do whatever you want with one. I grew up watching Star Trek, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say much of what was far-fetched back then has been more or less realised today. 

At BT Wholesale we enable partners to leverage this technology to bring new ideas and innovative services to market, helping them achieve their goals. The evolution of this space over the last 20 to 25 years is what I’m truly passionate about.”

Tell us about the current mobile landscape and where MVNOs fit into this

“Mobile services have been around for a while now, and the connectivity part of that is offered by various brands: Vodafone, Three, O2 and our network, the network leader, EE. In that sense, not a lot has changed, but the underlying technology has shifted massively in recent years - with the move from 2G to 3G, 4G, and now 5G. 

Through these incredible advances in connectivity have come a huge change in how we live. The world is reliant on 24/7 connectivity, with the average UK consumer now using between 8 and 10GB of data every month. 

Changing technologies and habits are helping MVNOs differentiate, through increasingly complex and personalised services, among both consumer and corporate audiences. 

SIM-only products are becoming more popular among MVNOs and their customers. And we’re expecting big changes to the way consumers purchase connectivity through the introduction of e-SIM, the continuing roll-out of 5G, and growth in popularity of IoT-enabled devices.

It’s an exciting time for MVNOs – and BT is excited to be supporting their growth.”

What are some of the team’s main priorities for 2022 and 2023?

“We’re focusing on growing revenue, from forming new partnerships to supporting the continued success of existing partners. 

Our recent achievements include welcoming Wireless Logic, Europe’s largest IoT service provider, and helping Telecom Plus (also known as Utility Warehouse) to launch 5G.

Our objective is to help partners continue to grow by delivering the right partnership support, continuing to innovate, and providing the UK’s best network.”

What’s your proudest moment in mobile?

“Signing more deals in the past 18 months than ever before. 

Normally MVNO partnerships come around roughly once or twice a year, but we signed six in 2021 alone - with five more expected in the next 18 months or so. That kind of growth is a first for our business - a real accolade for, and testament to, the team’s hard work and expertise. 

Another milestone has been the launch of 4G and 5G. Many in the industry thought 3G would be a paradigm shift, but to my mind the biggest changes in our daily lives have only been made possible through 4G and 5G. 

It’s a big responsibility to be a ‘guardian’ of sorts for this powerful technology, but it’s also one I’m incredibly grateful to have.

I’m very proud to work at BT. We’re lucky to be leading a sector upon which millions of people rely, and to work for a company that’s critical to society both nationally and globally.”

What do you do outside of your work?

“I have two girls at home, and really enjoy bringing them up and trying to show them how important it is to make the most of life and grab it by the horns. 

I feel a real personal responsibility to teach them about the value of a global society, the pleasure of giving, and to be the best humans possible. I’m also a keen traveller. I have family in Portugal, and also love Italy and sailing the Greek islands. 

Mykonos, Sardinia, and Croatia are all on the list of places I hope to see in the next few months, now we can get back on the road again. 

I also like to spend time cooking, enjoying a bottle of decent red wine, and taking our dog for long country walks.”

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