By Herman Schepers
It has been a while since the last Policy Impact Partners blog, mainly because (happily) we have been so busy. However, having spoken with many people last week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) I realise an update is probably overdue.
I attended MWC with two of the PIP associates Martin Whitehead and Mortimer Hope. The scale of MWC never ceases to amaze me. According to the GSMA there were more than 107,000 visitors and more than 7000 CEOs at the event. At the Ministerial Programme of MWC we had a great opportunity to talk to many of our old friends that participated as industry or as one of the 2000 delegates from 181 countries. The evolution to 5G and the increasing need for spectrum was one of the topics of discussion. This was a perfect topic for us to participate in since we recently started working with Microsoft globally on their connectivity and spectrum agenda in preparation for the next World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019.
PIP is also continuing to support the UK government (Department for Culture Media and Sport) on their 5G programme. More recently the Broadband India Forum has engaged us to work on an international benchmark analysis on 5G. As MWC has shown the policy dialogue is expanding. With increasing and ever faster connectivity there is a need for regulators and governments to understand the societal and economic implications of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. These topics are certainly within our realm of interest and ever growing expertise so have been keeping us very busy over recent months!
Our business model has been well received by the organisations that are now working with us. In some cases we have built a senior team to cover a specific programme of work, and for others we have one lead consultant who takes on the majority of the work but can always draw upon the advice or support of others where needed. The flexibility, cost-effectiveness and policy impact we create through our expertise and international networks is a great complement to our client’s existing team. This model has potential across all sectors and we have also started work on a very exciting project within the Financial Services Industry.
I am incredibly pleased that in the last few months I have been able to add exceptional new associates and advisors to join the PIP platform which broadens our range of expertise and the markets we cover. Irene Ng, international lawyer, former telecoms regulator and previously head of APAC for the GSMA, will help advise on policy and regulatory developments across APAC. David Pringle, a former business journalist with the WSJ, analyst, writer and editor working with many organisations in the telecoms, media and technology sectors has joined as a media advisor. David will advise our clients on media relations and developing content for events, television and print media. Last and certainly not least, Mortimer Hope has joined PIP as an associate overseeing Africa. With a wealth of experience working for the South African regulator, Vodacom and as head of the GSMA for Africa, Mortimer has an incredible network of trusted contacts across the African region and can provide us with knowledge and context to better advise clients on policy and regulation in Africa.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with all of these great people during my time at the GSMA and my former agency, WE communications. I am really happy that as senior experts with their own consulting businesses they are willing to work with me again as part of the Policy Impact Partners’ platform. Apart from being first class they are also great fun to be with and excellent team players. This was exactly the reason to set PIP up in the first place. Thanks to everyone so far who has supported me on this journey and particularly to Martin Whitehead, Oliver Drewes and Walter van der Weiden for being there at the start. Until next time.