We spoke with Mark Toman, Client Director, Mobile Network Operators, to find out about his role, what he enjoys doing outside of work and to help you put a face to the name.
What do you do at BT?
I’m the Client Director, Mobile Network Operators at BT Wholesale within our Mobile Division, so I work with our mobile operators, partners, and innovators to drive new products and propositions to market. I work quite closely with others across the industry, including the four main mobile network operators (MNO), as well as local government bodies.
My job is about driving innovation and new concepts to market. For example, I'm currently the lead for BT Group on Edge, which is an exciting new network deployment structure. It will bring untold benefits to businesses and users and part of my role is to help is to help communicate the benefits of Edge to telcos and the wider industry.
Tell us about the current mobile landscape
It’s a really interesting time. All of us are aware that the telecoms industry isn’t growing as fast in the UK as it in other key markets, so now is the time to take a different approach.
A term I came up with recently is ‘non contentious areas of cooperation’ and by that, I mean all MNOs need to support each other in growing communities. A concentrated effort on collaboration can help unlock new opportunities for operators and partners – while improving the connectivity of communities up and down the country.
We also need to need to take a closer look at the technology we’re deploying and ask what does it mean for the environment? What does it mean for everyday people? The MNOs have a critical role to play in building communities and there needs to be a shared vision for everyone to get behind.
Consumer or enterprise market?
While my bread and butter has typically been the consumer market, the enterprise market is providing huge opportunities. When we look at technologies like 5G and IoT, we're seeing that the initial uptake is within enterprise.
How critical are MNOs to the UK’s future?
They’re absolutely critical. We’ve seen how vital mobile operations are, and how they have developed throughout the pandemic as we’ve shifted from office working to working from home and now into a brand-new hybrid environment.
5G will evolve things further, supporting solutions and activities that empower businesses to become more flexible and agile. This will give people more choice on how they work, and improve diversity in the workplace - something I'm really passionate about.
When thinking about the technologies 5G will enable, we’re looking at Edge and bringing huge compute power nearer the end user for super low latency connectivity, industry IoT, virtual Reality (VR) and even driverless cars. Mobile connectivity is going to benefit the lives of everybody – I think it’s so exciting.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Meeting great thinkers is the best part of my job.
I’m originally from New Zealand and I'm a great believer in networking and exploring new cultures. For me, one of the greatest learning experiences you can have is meeting people that are different to you yet seeing all the similarities when you really get to know them. Meeting new people from different cultures can spark new ideas and that drives a lot of my passion for the work that I do. The questions are always, ‘how can we bring people together and how do we break down the barriers of society?’
What do you do outside your work?
As I said, I love learning about new cultures and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, so I’m constantly off travelling. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for my 40th.
I've also travelled around India which was amazing. I got to meet so many different people and understand their culture. It’s great to expand your knowledge and learn more about the world we live in so that we can continue working with and supporting each other in what is a very difficult time in human history.
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